Scotland’s squeezed middle: a decade under the SNP

This nationalist government has an unhealthy habit of overtaxing the Scottish middle class. Our country’s economic performance shows the damage being done.

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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. 

9 comments

  1. There are no scottish tories only thinly disguised english nationalists.

    0.8% is better than rUK’s 0.2% try broadening your approach instead of selecting data that you then spin to give you the answer you want.

    Have you joined the Orange people yet? I am sure you’re just the type of recruit they would want.

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    • I am as Scottish as you, and am as patriotic as anyone of the opposing nationalist persuasion. You don’t get to claim monopoly on identity or belonging. Your approach to denouncing 30% of Scottish voters as ‘English nationalists’ illustrates the lie at the heart of any claim of ‘civic nationalism’. You’re a rather nasty individual spouting things like this about 30% of your fellow Scots. All because they’re Unionists, you seem to think you can say they’re not patriots, they’re somehow quislings, somehow bigots. You, Sir, are the only bigot I’m seeing here.

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  2. Income tax is the only real tax power the SG has. If yer Tory government in Westminister doesn’t like what the SG is doing with it, then they can bloody well devolve corporation tax, VAT, motoring taxes, excise duties, capital gains tax, and others.

    One effective tax power? You’re damn right that’s no way to run an economy!

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    • The SNP policies circa the replacement for stamp duty is entirely devolved, and the damage that has done to a key element of our economy is entirely on them. You can’t blame Westminster for that.

      SNP penchant for overtaxing businesses via the business rates is entirely a matter the SNP are responsible for, and you can’t blame Westminster for that.

      Increasing income tax to a point where Scottish families are paying more than their English counterparts is entirely a choice made by the SNP, cannot blame Westminster for that.

      So we have business rates, stamp duty replacement, income tax…seems to me the SNP have many tax varying powers to hand, all of which they’ve misused to the detriment of our economy.

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  3. Can I politely ask you to give some idea of your background knowledge regarding the effects of taxation on economic development, and what could be done with current Holyrood powers that is not being done?
    Please detail the misuse and the detriment you describe. You are quick to reach for self righteousness in your replies, but better at polemic than detail. You do not discuss the poisonous policies of the U.K. Government which the Scottish government is trying to mitigate, and then being told by the likes of you that they are not doing enough.
    As you are a supporter of the current UK government, I think it self evident that you should be doing more to explain the disaster they are creating. Don’t you?

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    • What disaster might you be referring?

      In a decade of the SNP Scotland has averaged less than 1% growth. The UK picture as a whole is much more rosy.

      Perhaps the ‘disaster’ you mean is the record low unemployment rate? Imagine that! How shocking, leading an economy capable of producing millions of new jobs since 2010. Those dirty Tories, getting democratically elected…creating conditions for millions of new jobs…what a disaster!

      No, no, the ‘disaster’ you mean must surely be the news that our manufacturing output has picked up in July? That UK manufacturing being at a four month high must cause you so many sleepless nights…

      Oh no, how silly of me – the ‘disaster’ is obviously the £350m block grant boost! How terrible our Scottish gov’t will have more money to spend on the services which matter!

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