Is Scotland the highest taxed part of the UK?

In recent weeks, there has been considerable debate over the government’s decision to freeze the income tax threshold at which taxpayers start to pay the 40% higher rate in Scotland.

This has led the Conservatives to argue that Scotland is now the highest taxed part of the UK.

This blog discusses some of the key issues underpinning this argument and some important questions around interpretation.

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April 10, 2017

Referendums and economic volatility: Scotland 2014

Julia Darby & Graeme Roy

Fraser of Allander Institute and Department of Economics, University of Strathclyde

One of the interesting features of referendums is that they are often motivated by the desire to resolve big debates or settle issues of strong divergent views.

Unlike countries such as Switzerland where referendums are commonplace, in the UK they are much less frequent (although like buses, you wait ages for one to come along and then three – the Alternative Vote referendum in 2011, the Scottish independence referendum in 2014 and the EU referendum in 2016 – come along in close order!)

One consequence can be a rise in economic uncertainty.

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April 7, 2017

7 Bullet Points on the GDP data released today

1. Today’s GDP figures show that the Scottish economy shrank by -0.2% in the final quarter of 2016. Compared to the same quarter in 2015, the Scottish economy has not grown. While the general expectation was that today’s figures would indicate a continuation of the weak economic performance observed through the first three quarters of 2016, the fact that the economy shrank at the end of 2016 was a surprise.Continue reading

April 5, 2017