Labour’s leader in Scotland, Richard Leonard, has used his conference speech to propose a “1% windfall tax on Scotland’s wealthiest 10%” which he claims would raise £3.7 billion. However, official figures show that 49% of those affected would be pensioners.
Kenneth Gibson MSP commented:
“Labour has had a terrible conference. On Sunday a confused Mr Leonard left the door open for a re-run of the 2016 EU referendum whilst firmly opposing another independence referendum because it is ‘too soon’ after the 2014 referendum!
“Now Labour’s plan for a ‘one-off’ tax is completely half-baked. It includes assets, such as a home, rather than income. Half of those hit by this £3.7 billion tax bill would be pensioners, for whom having a house does not necessarily mean having a high income.
“For many of those who would be hit, their ‘wealth’ could be little more than their home and pension. How is Richard Leonard expecting those pensioners to afford a one-off tax bill?
“The SNP has made serious, progressive reforms to our tax system, which see those on higher incomes paying a greater share. Rather than more ‘back of a fag packet’ plans from Labour or reheated proposals of federalism-some-day, we should take full controls over tax and welfare in Scotland to continue to tackle inequality.”
In the top decile of wealth in Scotland, 31% are pensioner couples, 6% are single pensioners and 12% are a couple with one pensioner – 49% in total.
Wealth and Assets in Scotland, 2006-2014