Scottish Budget

More Scots paying higher taxes under SNP policy

Shona Robison
New tax bands: Shona Robison

Figures from the Scottish Government’s budget forecaster show that the number of workers being dragged into higher income tax bands has doubled since the SNP was handed new powers.

Additionally, one in four workers – 866,000 – will be in the higher, advanced or top bands within four years, according to the Scottish Fiscal Commission (SFC).

That compares with 317,000 in 2017, when tax divergence from England began, and the 647,000 expected to be in those higher brackets during 2025.

Shona Robison, the Deputy First Minister and Finance Secretary, is also introducing a 45% advanced rate between £75,001 and £125,140 and is increasing the top rate from 47% to 48%.

The data has emerged as businesses warn that the expanding tax burden will deter top talent being attracted to Scotland.

Judith Cruickshank, who chairs the Scotland board at Royal Bank of Scotland, told Ms Robison, that UK-wide financial companies now found it a “challenge” to encourage workers to move north of the border.

A business breakfast heard from a number of business leaders who voiced concerns about the impact of the Scottish budget.

Ms Cruickshank said that firms were being faced with the “very real decisions that people make” about where to base themselves, particularly as a result of home working that boomed during the pandemic.

“We’ve heard many anecdotal stories about people choosing to remain in cities like Manchester or Newcastle or Birmingham,” she said.

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