This nationalist government has an unhealthy habit of overtaxing the Scottish middle class. Our country’s economic performance shows the damage being done.
When is a tax hike not a tax hike? Political pundits were busy hammering this out in February this year when the SNP declared they would not be following England’s lead; and raise the 40p income tax threshold. Result? 370,000 taxpayers were forced to pay higher tax than their English counterparts. And don’t be fooled, 9,000 of those were lower middle’s dragged into paying the 40p band due to inflation.
And it isn’t just income tax which has seen the nationalist preference for over-taxation damage Scotland, there’s also their disastrous replacement for stamp duty. When the SNP replaced stamp duty with their ‘Land Buildings Transaction Tax’, we saw experts label it ‘flawed’. This housing tax proved one tax grab too far, now Scotland’s housing market has suffered a “serious slow down”. Yet another blow to our economy thanks to SNP tax policies.
At the time the Scottish Tories were mocked by Nicola Sturgeon for claiming these tax-happy antics would undermine Scotland’s economy. They laughed the criticism off. And now look at where we are. Growth an anaemic 0.8%, barely avoiding the technical definition of recession.
Then of course there are the business rates hikes, which have proven so damaging to businesses that in certain sectors the SNP have already been forced to u-turn.
Consumers don’t feel as confident spending, fewer people want to sell their homes – the tax hikes have actually reduced (not increased) revenues. You would be forgiven for thinking the SNP with a tax record like this would change direction. But no, now they’ve pledged to double down. When in doubt, plough on regardless?
It’s Scotland that will pay the price of another four years of a failing SNP government. A government distracted by engineered agitations and grievances with England & their unwanted ‘indyref2’. A government which has a worrying predilection for overtaxing families, businesses and communities.
The bottom-line? This is no way to run an economy.