Scottish Labour would raise ‘top earners’ tax to pay for education plan

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Scotland’s Labour leader Kezia Dugdale said her party would raise taxes for higher earners to pay for improvements to education.

She also told her party conference in Perth that a Labour government at Holyrood would reverse tax credit changes affecting working families.

Ms Dugdale insisted “ordinary” tax payers need not pay more for her plans.

She said her education proposals would be paid for by asking those “very top earners” to pay “a bit more tax”.

The MSP outlined the party’s “Fair Start Fund” which would be linked to every child from a poorer family.

The money would not be handed out by councils but would be sent direct to schools and controlled by the teachers and head teachers “who know their schools best”.

She made the announcement after criticising the SNP administration at Holyrood.

Ms Dugdale said: “I say to the SNP after eight years in charge – I will judge you on your record. And I will judge you above all on your record on education.

“Every child you have left behind, well that neglect offends this Labour movement. Every single one of the 6,000 children, who has left a Scottish primary school this year, on your watch, first minister, unable to read properly.

“Well that record disgraces this nation and it constrains its future.”

Other announcements included:

  • restoring the money Scottish families stand to lose from the Conservative government’s tax credit cuts
  • giving care workers a “real living wage”
  • handing youngsters leaving care and going to university a grant of £6,000 a year
  • dropping SNP plans to cut Air Passenger Duty
  • and ditching Chancellor George Osborne’s proposals to cut the higher rate of income tax.

Source: Scottish Labour would raise tax for ‘top earners’ to pay for education plan

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13 thoughts on “Scottish Labour would raise ‘top earners’ tax to pay for education plan

  1. Ron Wilson

    For years Labour have been protected by an ‘on side’ media in Scotland, but not even the BBC in Scotland can indefinitely cover up the shambles that passes for policy in the branch office.
    Where is the money coming from to plug the gap in tax credits? Dugdale herself doesn’t know how much raising the top rate to 50 pence will generate but seems to hope it could be £100 million ( the IFS says £8 million). But even this wildly optimistic figure is less than a quarter needed for the tax credit gap alone.
    The reality is that with a UK benefits system already in meltdown the degree of cross border bureaucratic cooperation required to make Dugdale’s plans work is a fantasy. Imagine trying to identify how much money had been lost by claimants, creating a brand new Scottish benefit to compensate people, all separate from the actual tax credits system ….. Slab’s electoral sales pitch is a mess with no credibility.
    Unlike the sovereign government in England Dugdale cannot just ‘change the law’. Irony of ironies, ‘Scottish’ Labour’s plans cannot work so long as Scotland is within the UK. Its looking like the game’s a bogey.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Oh dear, some of you are really tying yourselves in knots, aren’t you?
      Dugdale said Scottish Labour would resist cutting tax credits in the first place, along with other social security benefits.
      This money is to pay for improvements to education, where the SNP has been failing Scotland for eight years.
      The reality is that opponents of Scottish Labour are saying anything they can to give other people the wrong impression of what’s going on.

      1. Ron Wilson

        It’s Slab tying themselves in knots of their own making Mike. Dugdale’s plans to raise the revenue she needs for her plans are a dogs breakfast, miles short of cancelling out the money taken from the poorest by Osborne whilst wittering inanely about ‘resisting’ Tory plans to raise tax thresholds that are a reserved UK matter.
        Of course it was Dugdale that campaigned during IndyRef hand in hand with the same Tories that are now implementing hard right policies that were rejected by Scotland at the GE. For all of the posturing and crocodile tears the leadership of Labours branch office ultimately preferred (and still do) a Tory government in London cracking the whip than a sovereign Scottish government deciding policy, even if it were a Labour government. That is why erstwhile Labour voters have had it with them.

      2. Mike Sivier Post author

        From where I’m sitting, it looks more like SNP propaganda officers tying themselves in knots trying to find a story capable of shooting down a reviving Scottish Labour. You can’t get your stories straight so it’s no surprise you haven’t produced any evidence.
        I notice that, now all else has failed, you are harking back to the referendum and the tired old claim that Labour and the Tories are “hand in hand”. Even if that was true then (it wasn’t; Scottish independence was an issue on which Labour and the Tories held the same view – that Scotland should remain in the Union – but because of the way the Better Together campaign has been portrayed by the SNP propaganda officers, Labour has long since admitted that taking part in a united ‘No’ campaign was a bad idea) it certainly isn’t now. Your claim that Scottish Labour is a “branch office” falls further behind the truth with every new development (try to keep up). Your statement that Scottish Labour prefers a Tory government to an independent Scotland is a false argument as those have never been the only alternatives available.
        And don’t talk about Labour voters – erstwhile or otherwise. You can only speak for yourself and your propaganda officer.

      3. Tony Williams

        Kezia’s sums are as fatuous as any belief that the Branch Office will be allowed policies different from UK Labour.

      4. Mike Sivier Post author

        And you have evidence to support this, besides the opinion of your local propaganda officer?

  2. Gavman

    Whether the plans are or even can be achieved is besides the point, the fact is that Scottish Labour have finally regrouped and are making good policies, together with the Trident no vote they are getting on the same track as the Scottish electorate. Whether or not you support ScotLab is irrelevant a Scotlab party that puts pressure on the SNP to actually be as left wing as they say they are is a good thing for Scotland.

  3. hayfords

    Why should higher earners pay a higher rate of tax at all? They already pay more tax by virtue of earning more anyway. There is no moral imperative involved. A better system would be the same rate of tax for everybody and extra tax coming from companies. Even better world be no income tax and it all coming from companies.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Because they take more benefit from the public services in place, and have only managed to achieve their current position with the help of other members of society, of course.
      A flat rate of tax is an appalling idea. People who earn less need more of the money they earn, simply to survive – or haven’t you been paying attention for the past five years?

      1. hayfords

        There would still be a tax free allowance meaning low paid people would still get the same as now. The higher paid people would pay more tax at the flat rate by virtue of just earning more. There is no reason to increase their tax rate as their pay increases. Why should someone pay a bigger proportion of their pay because they earn more.

        I don’t see that they consume more services and anyway they will be paying more tax to cover that increase if it existed. There is no reason to increase the proportion that they pay. I remember super tax of 87% on earnings and 98% on unearned income. They were both disincentives to make money.

        It has been found that when tax increases, the money raised falls. My accountant used to say that he was busiest when tax rates were high. When the rate was lower people were happier just to pay it.

      2. Mike Sivier Post author

        You are saying that it is fine to keep the low-paid earning the same below-subsistence amount indefinitely, while salaries for the high-paid increase. That in itself is hugely unfair.
        You pay more when you earn more because you don’t need as much for yourself and the fact that you are likely to have a larger ‘estate’ (possessions of any kind) means you will rely more on the public services that are available than someone with a small flat.
        If you don’t see that higher-earners consume more services, then that is an intentional oversight on your part, I think. You are choosing not to accept the facts. Nobody is suggesting a new ‘super tax’, though.
        It has indeed been found that tax avoidance increases when tax increases. Any government worth its salt would crack down hard on that, as it shows that we are not all equal in the eyes of the law and the rich have obscene privileges that the poor don’t. Unfortunately, our current government isn’t worth a farthing.

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