All smiles: Kezia Dugdale would put real change into the pockets of low-earning workers (apologies for the appalling wordplay - I couldn't resist it).

All smiles: Kezia Dugdale would put real change into the pockets of low-earning workers (apologies for the appalling wordplay – I couldn’t resist it).

Well done to Nicola Sturgeon and Ruth Davidson for making complete idiots of themselves and their parties.

They clamoured to score cheap points after Scottish Labour announced it no longer needed to offer a £100 rebate to protect low-paid workers from its own planned income tax increase of 1p on the basic rate.

The rebate was intended to make sure people on low wages would not have to pay any more income tax than they do currently – but an increase in the personal allowance (the amount each earner is allowed to keep before they start paying tax) means those people won’t be affected in any case.

So the rebate is no longer needed – as anyone can see.

Anyone, that is, except SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon and Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson.

Labour’s political opponents immediately seized on the reversal, which SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon described as “outrageous”. She added: “Instead of getting £100, the low paid are now having their personal allowance increase taken away by Labour.”

No, they’re not. They won’t lose a penny.

Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson said the move indicated that Labour’s policies were a “shambles”, adding: “We want workers to keep more of the money they earn, Labour wants to tax it right back off them.”

No, it doesn’t. Labour could not have known in advance what the Conservative chancellor, George Osborne, would announce in his budget, so the rebate announcement was necessary, at the time it was made. Now, it isn’t.

Of course, workers will keep more of the money they earn – that’s the whole point of Labour’s plan – and it won’t be taxed back off them by a Scottish Labour government.

Here’s a Labour spokesman’s explanation:

“Under our plans, those earning under £20,000 won’t pay a penny more than they pay today because of the recent changes being made to the personal allowance. Our decision to increase the top rate, and to maintain the threshold for higher rate tax payers as it is today, means the wealthiest will pay the most to stop the cuts.”

Ah. Labour’s plan means wealthy people pay more. Perhaps that’s why Ms Sturgeon and Ms Davidson are so vocal in their opposition.

Source: Scottish Labour accused of ‘outrageous’ policy reversal after scrapping plans to protect low-paid from income tax rises | UK Politics | News | The Independent

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