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Experts accused of ignoring issue

SNP advisers ‘have not discussed tax’ say Tories

Ruth DavidsonA team of advisers set up by the SNP to analyse Scotland’s economic outlook has not discussed the issue of tax since it was announced that new powers would be devolved, it has been claimed.

Minutes from the First Minister’s Council of Economic Advisers have revealed tax has never been on the agenda this year or last.

This is despite power over income tax coming to Holyrood next year, and the subject dominating Scottish politics in recent months.

Yesterday, Chancellor George Osborne announced an increase in the higher rate threshold to £45,000, and lifted thousands more out of tax altogether by raising the personal allowance.

At First Minister’s Questions today, Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson (pictured) urged Nicola Sturgeon to ensure these tax cuts were passed on to hardworking Scots from April 2017.

The Scottish government yesterday issued a statement saying this was “not the right time” to be raising tax thresholds for the higher paid.

However, Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson said:Next year the Scottish Parliament will reach maturity, making key decisions on how much money is in people’s pockets.

“But instead of discussing that, and all the wide ranging economic impacts taxation decisions make, the First Minister’s own body of experts has ignored the issue.

“It’s incredible that the Scottish Government doesn’t think this merits discussion.

“In Westminster, we have a Chancellor who wants to drive the economy, get people back into work and allow hard workers to keep more of their own money.

“But here, we have a First Minister who hasn’t paid attention to the changes, and seems happy to hang a sign at the Scottish border saying: ‘Closed for business.’”

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