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Accusations fly across chamber

Davidson accuses SNP of broken tax promises

Ruth DavidsonRuth Davidson has accused the SNP government of breaking promises on tax and misleading the people of Scotland.

The Scottish Tory leader said the SNP had pledged not to increase the basic rate during the five years of the parliament.

But the Finance Secretary Derek Mackay is now expected to use December’s Scottish Budget to bring in an income tax rise.

Addressing parliament she said: “The SNP told people one thing on tax when it wanted their votes, then the complete opposite once it had got them.

“John Swinney used to see tax hikes as a ‘punishment’ – now he says they’re a virtue. This is astonishing hypocrisy from the SNP government on a vital issue.

“Quite simply, the nationalists completely misled the people of Scotland on tax before last year’s election, and there’s no good explanation as to why.

“Under their plans everyone in Scotland earning more than £24,000 will be hit in the pocket by a higher tax.

“Making Scotland the highest-taxed part of the UK will damage our economy, and punish workers right across the board. An urgent rethink is required.”

Mr Swinney said: “The Scottish Government is engaged in a substantive debate with members of the public about the real choices that are faced when you are in government, when you are trying to address the fact that public expenditure has been slashed by the United Kingdom government and that austerity continues to roll forward year by year.

“So we are involved in that discussion because we have to take the real hard decisions in government.”

He also stressed the SNP would “act at all times to protect the interests of low income individuals within our society.”


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