Firstly, this poll supports Scottish Labour’s announcement that it would maintain tax credits for 350,000 working families in Scotland, because Scottish Labour is not planning to fund it with an Income Tax rise. Instead, the plan will be supported by resisting tax cuts supported by the SNP and the Conservative Party.
An Income Tax rise is planned – but this would fund improvements to education, which is a public service if ever there was one.
Scotland will have control over Income Tax from 2017, making it possible to top-up tax credits and social security benefits – and this means that critics who have commented on the subject in Vox Political were mistaken.
Two have suggested that the Income Tax rise was to “plug the gap in tax credits”. That was a mistake.
One of these claimed that Scottish Labour would need to create “a brand new Scottish benefit to compensate people, all separate from the actual tax credits system”. That was also a mistake.
Let’s have a debate based on what is actually being proposed, rather than misinterpretations.
Over half of people in Scotland would support an income tax rise to fund public services but not to pay for increased benefits and tax credits, a poll has found.
A YouGov poll for The Times found 52% in favour of a tax rise for services, but just 30% backing a tax rise for benefits once Scotland gains control of income tax in 2017.
The Scottish Government will also have the power to top up tax credits and benefits, but such a move would be unpopular with most people in Scotland, the poll found.
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