Kezia Dugdale reaffirms Scottish Labour 50p top rate tax policy
The Scottish Labour leader repeated the party’s commitment to a penny on income tax and a 50p top rate in her speech to the Labour conference
Kezia Dugdale - Image credit: David N Anderson/Holyrood
Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale reaffirmed her party’s commitment to a penny on income tax and a 50p top rate.
In a speech to the Labour Party conference in Liverpool yesterday, Dugdale said she accepted Nicola's Sturgeon’s argument that the cuts come from Westminster, but not her "refusal to do anything about it".
She said when the Scottish Government presents its budget Scottish Labour will propose amendments to introduce a 50p tax for those earning over £150,000 and to add a penny to income tax to pay for public services.
Dugdale said: “It’s an idea rooted in that simple socialist principle: ‘from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs’.
“We put forward a case for progressive taxation.
“A penny on income tax, and a 50p tax rate for the most well off. It’s still our policy.
“Because with the cuts coming down the track from Holyrood, Local Government in Scotland is set to lose £1 billion over the course of this Parliament.
“Our health service is already beginning to show signs of strain as hospitals across the country face cuts or closure.
“In hospitals in Glasgow, Paisley and Greenock services for children, pregnant women and the elderly are being cut back.
“When it comes to our schools, the SNP government continue to refuse to protect the education budget.
“Conference, I accept what Nicola Sturgeon says about these cuts coming from Westminster. I don’t question that.
“What I do question is her refusal to do anything about it - to meekly pass on those cuts or even double down on them.
“Leadership does not mean marching to London to make your point, but refusing to take the tough decisions when you are at home.”
She added that if the SNP government does not accept these proposals and “forces another austerity budget on Holyrood”, Labour will vote against it.
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An overview of some of the key points in the 2018/19 Scottish budget including changes to income tax and the public sector pay cap