Scottish Labour is facing a series of questions over its plans for widespread income tax increases.
The party said today it wanted to implement the 1p rise immediately for every worker in Scotland.
It then added those on less than £20,000 per year could apply through local authorities to claim some of that lost money back.
The Scottish Conservatives have now tabled a series of questions to the party about the plans, which were released to the media yesterday with a request for journalists not to approach other parties for comment.
– Someone on less than £20,000 will face a tax hike of £90, but then can apply to receive £100 in compensation. How much will it cost to administer this?
– How will the lowest paid get their cash back from their local council? Will they have to apply? Does someone come round with a cheque?
– How many basic rate taxpayers will be hit by the proposed tax rise and how much will they have to pay to fund it?
– Were any job creators in Scotland consulted before deciding Scotland should become the highest taxed part of the UK?
– What impact will this have on job creation?
– HMRC’s modelling states increasing income tax by a penny will raise £475 million, not £500 million suggested by Labour. Were HMRC consulted on the modelling?
– Are local authorities going to be told how to spend the additional funds? If not, how can it be guaranteed the excess will go on education as promised?
The Scottish Conservatives believe income tax in Scotland should be no higher than the rest of the UK and, if it’s affordable, should be lower.
It means the party are the only low tax party going into May’s Holyrood elections, after the Liberal Democrats announced similar tax raising plans, and the SNP under increasing pressure to match Labour’s left-wing stance.
Scottish Conservative finance spokesman Murdo Fraser said:
“Scottish Labour has now confirmed it wants to make Scotland the highest taxed part of the UK.
“It has lost the plot.
“Kezia Dugdale doesn’t seem to be able to answer even basic questions about how this policy will work.
“Labour is proposing a ridiculous merry-go-round where first Labour takes money off the lowest paid and then gets the council to hand it back.
“Can Labour tell us today how this is supposed to work? How much will it cost to administer?
“How much will basic rate taxpayers have to pay? And is Scottish Labour proposing to order councils to spend money as it sees fit?
“We need some urgent answers to this or people will simply conclude that Labour’s latest plan is a complete mess – much like the party as a whole.”