SNP budget expected to be passed by the Scottish Parliament

Written by Jenni Davidson on 21 February 2019 in News

MSPs are expected to pass the final stage of the Scottish Budget today, after the SNP struck as deal with the Greens last month

Scottish Parliament - Image credit: Anita Gould

MSPs are expected to pass the final stage of the Scottish Budget today, after the SNP struck as deal with the Greens last month.

The income tax rates for next year were approved on Tuesday by 61 votes to 52.

Only the SNP voted for the plans, with the Conservatives, Labour and the Lib Dems voting against and the Greens abstaining.

Public finance minister Kate Forbes said the Scottish Government had “taken responsible decisions to ensure that Scottish income tax is progressive and raises the revenue needed to support essential public services and the economy”.

However, Scottish Labour has warned that cuts to council budgets will put services at risk, while the Scottish Conservatives are opposing giving councils the power to introduce a tax on workplace car parks.

Scottish Labour shadow cabinet Secretary for finance, James Kelly said: “The SNP’s plan to impose £230million of real terms cuts to councils will cause a crisis in Scotland’s communities.

“This will cut councils to the bone and put services like social care and schools at risk.

“Since 2011, the SNP have cut council budgets by £1.5billion, a move which has heaped pressure on our NHS and these further cuts will only serve to double down on the problem.

“At the same time as slashing these services, SNP ministers have handed themselves a tax cut. That is shameful.

"Labour would invest in our people, communities and public services, starting with a 50p top rate of tax.”  

Talking about a workplace parking levy, Scottish Conservative shadow finance secretary Murdo Fraser said: “Right across Scotland, Scottish Conservatives are making it clear today that we oppose this unwanted, poorly thought-out tax.

“From Holyrood to local councils across Scotland, we will fight to stop it being introduced.

“Nicola Sturgeon has tried to argue that this won’t impact people if their local council doesn’t adopt it.

“Tell that to the tens of thousands of people from all over Scotland who commute into our cities and face having to pay up.

“it’s now beholden on SNP councillors to follow suit, follow the lead of the Scottish Conservatives, and make clear that they too will oppose these ridiculous plans.

“That is the least they should do for their constituents.”

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