Today (20th February 2017), the SNP and the Green party combined in Holyrood to push through changes which will see East Renfrewshire hit with income tax increases. The changes also mean that anyone earning more than £26,000 a year will pay more tax than they would if they lived in England.
Those who voted to increase the amount of tax paid by workers and pensioners across East Renfrewshire included Renfrewshire South MSP, Tom Arthur.
The increase will see around 22,000 people in the area hit by a tax hike. The new rates are as follows:
19p “Starter Rate” from £11,850 to £13,850
20p “Basic Rate” from £13,851 to £24,000
21p “Intermediate Rate” from £24,001 to £44,272
41p “Higher Rate” from £44,274 to £150,000
46p “Additional Rate” for anything over £150,000
Critics of the change point out that taking money out of hard working people’s wallets is not a good way to kick start the economy, and increase consumer spending. Especially at a time when Scotland’s economic growth lags behind that of the UK as a whole. The Scottish Conservatives argued that the correct way to raise additional revenue was the expand the tax base and grow the economy.
Commenting East Renfrewshire MP, Paul Masterton said:
“These income tax changes are extremely disappointing news for East Renfrewshire residents. It will see many hard-working families hit as a result of the SNP’s inability to grow the Scottish economy. This will also break a key manifesto pledge by the SNP not to raise income tax. Put simply, the people of East Renfrewshire are having to pick up the bill for a decade of the SNPs economic mismanagement.”
“There is also no good reason for Scottish taxpayers to be paying more than their friends and family in the rest of the UK.”
“Whilst some people will see an extremely small saving, this will be nothing compared to the increase in Council Tax coming round the corner from the SNP/Labour administration, and all at a time when councils are having to cut back services significantly. All this will lead to is less disposable income for those on the tightest budgets.
East Renfrewshire is paying more to get less, and people here deserve better.”