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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The NDRI pool…

As the Scottish Budget for 2017/18 has passed through Parliament, the operation of the Non-Domestic Rates pool has risen to prominence. It has provided the Cabinet Secretary for Finance with flexibility to support local government spending and ease the burden of the revaluation to business rates.

So how does the NDRI pool work and what could be the implications over the medium term in the light of the additional cash taken from it to get the budget passed this year? Continue reading “The NDRI pool…”

Boosting the Scottish Government’s Budget?

Yesterday, the Scottish Government announced a ‘Budget boost for economy and public services’. This included an additional £220 million of spending on top of plans set out December’s Draft Budget.

Details on the various sources of this ‘new money’ are as yet unclear and clearly there will be ongoing debates about whether or not it is too much or too little. But setting the political choices aside, yesterday’s announcement was interesting in its own right. It also raises some questions about the transparency of the budget process. This blog poses some issues that might help enlighten the debate as the Budget Bill continues its progress through Parliament.

Continue reading “Boosting the Scottish Government’s Budget?”