Nicola Sturgeon hits back at Tories for cutting disabled incomes in tax row

Nicola Sturgeon had some harsh words for the Scottish Conservatives

Nicola Sturgeon had some harsh words for the Scottish Conservatives

Friday, December 15, 2017

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has blasted Scotland's Conservatives after her Government imposed a hefty income tax increase on top earners.

Sturgeon's finance secretary Derek Mackay has increased the higher and top rates of tax by 1p, to 41p and 46p respectively, and introduced a new "intermediate rate" of 21p for those earning between £24,000 an £44,273. 

The Scottish Government claims this will facilitate hefty pay rises for public sector workers and £400m more cash for the NHS, as well as tax cuts for lower earners. Mackay has also stressed that no-one earning less than £33,000 in Scotland will pay more tax than they currently do.

However, critics are complaining that the tax will impose an excessive burden on the middle class. Tory leader Ruth Davidson tweeted that Mackay's chance is nothing more than a "sleight of hand" which has meant "a million Scots got clobbered."

Several right-wing newspapers have joined the attack, with one headline labelling the tax rise "the nightmare before Christmas". Davidson retweeted a picture of this headline, along with three other equally critical front pages.

In response, Sturgeon has written: "It is staggering how enraged @ScotTories are at those on higher incomes being asked to pay a little bit more to protect public services (while the 70% on low and middle incomes get small tax cut) - but don’t bat an eyelid when their own party cuts the incomes of disabled people."

Responding directly to Davidson's picture of the newspapers, Sturgeon continued: "3 of these 4 headlines use different figures for the same thing. Not sure that’s best way for Tories to shore up their threadbare argument.

"Still, it gives me another opportunity to point out that 70% - 1.77 million - taxpayers in Scotland are actually getting a tax cut!"