SNP courts Lib Dems in bid to secure local tax

SNP finance secretary John
Swinney will have talks with Tavish Scott, the
Liberal Democrats
finance spokeman, this week in an effort to secure the necessary support to have
a local income tax introduced in Scotland, replacing the council tax.

Swinney indicated last night a consultation paper on the issue, to be
published by the Scottish government this week, will include an option of
setting the local income tax rate nationally at first, letting councils set the
rate after a few years, The Scotsman reports.

However, the Scottish government’s hopes of introducing the scheme suffered
another blow yesterday when HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) issued a statement,
making it clear it refuses to take part in any local income tax scheme set up by
the Scottish government.

Swinney said he expected to hold talks with HMRC after his detailed plans
were published later this week. ‘We are working on the assumption we can
establish a co-operative arrangement with HMRC. I hope they are willing to
assist us because it would be an efficient way to go about the collection of the
local income tax,’ he said.

Further reading:

Salmond says don’t withhold our money

UK thwarts Scotland’s plan to scrap council tax

story in The Scotsman

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