The SNP Government’s Scottish Budget will protect household incomes and deliver a pay rise for 51,400 low paid workers, rather than facing tax rises with Labour.
The Budget will introduce a Living Wage of £8.25 for all social care workers, giving thousands of low-paid workers, mainly women, a pay rise.
Household budgets will be protected by the continuation of the Council Tax freeze and by setting the Scottish Rate of Income Tax at 10p, meaning that income tax bills will not rise.
In contrast, Labour this week announced plans to hit 2.2 million basic rate taxpayers across Scotland, including almost half a million pensioners, with a tax hike.
The Budget was debated by the Scottish Parliament on Wednesday afternoon, with key pledges including a £444 million rise above inflation in the NHS budget, the protection of teacher numbers and the police budget.
Commenting, Kenneth Gibson MSP said:
“In the context of continued Westminster cuts to Scotland’s budget, the SNP Government is delivering a very strong package that protects household incomes, increases wages for low-paid workers and continues investment in our public services.
“For the first time John Swinney has been able to set a Scottish Rate of Income Tax and has rightly set it at 10p, meaning taxes will not rise.
“In contrast Labour want to shift the burden of Tory austerity onto people across the country, those such as all newly-qualified nurses, teachers and police officers to effectively take a pay cut.
“The SNP will continue to do all we can to fight the impact of Tory austerity and will not impose greater tax burdens on people.”