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Report on tax and spend

Scots support tax hikes to pay for public services

Income tax own pic

Raising taxes to pay for services is more popular in Scotland (pic: Terry Murden)


A majority of Scottish people would support higher taxes to boost investment in public services, according to new research.

Scots were also more in favour of raising taxes in order to increase public spending than other parts of the UK.

Almost three-quarters (73%) of Scots backed a hike in tax against 70% in Wales, 69% in  England and 61% in Northern Ireland.

With the UK budget due on 29 October and the Scottish Government budget to follow on 12 December, the report has also found that 85% of Scots are concerned about the future provision of public services – 15% more than the UK average. 

The State of the State 2018-19, Deloitte’s annual report on public services and the challenges facing public services follow the recent announcement by Prime Minister Theresa May that austerity is ‘over’. 

Yet, although more Scots would accept higher taxes to improve public services, fewer said they had suffered from the effects of austerity.

Of those who responded to the survey, 27% of Scots felt the impact of austerity compared with 31% of the UK-wide population.

The survey also reveals most people across the UK believe people should be penalised for wasting public sector time, such as wrongly calling emergency services or failing to turn up for a GP appointment.

The data was compiled by Ipsos Mori, which surveyed 1,463 adults across the UK and 123 people in Scotland. The report was produced with the think tank Reform. 

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