SNP manifesto in tune with Labour on tax

THE TAX POLICIES contained in the Scottish National Party’s manifesto are closely aligned to Labour’s own manifesto pledges, advisers have noted.

In particular, the two parties have a tax on bankers’ bonuses, a bank levy, a mansion tax, a crackdown on tax avoidance, the abolition of non-domicile status and the reversal of the married couple’s tax allowance in common.

On National Insurance Contributions, the SNP will increase the annual reduction for businesses gradually to £6,000 – up from £2,000 – which would allow one-man companies to make a salary payment of over £43,000 with no employer’s NIC. Currently, the Scottish government lacks powers over NIC. The SNP wants these powers devolved to Scotland.

Some warn, however, it is “not hard” to imagine a negotiation under which the SNP – led by Nicola Sturgeon (pictured) – don’t try to force through an increase for the whole of the UK in return for being given the power to control National Insurance north of the border.

“The difference is that some of these policies would be unlikely to affect large numbers of Scottish voters,” said Baker Tilly senior tax partner George Bull.

“In Scotland, the reintroduction of the 50p tax rate would only affect around 14,000 people earning over £150,000. The mansion tax, if introduced for properties worth more than £2m, might only apply to 1,000 Scottish properties. As for non-doms, one might assume there to be greater numbers in London and the south east of England.”

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