LABOUR UNVEILS £960 MILLION PLAN FOR AN ALTERNATIVE BUDGET
30 January 2018
Labour today reveals a near billion-pound package of tax and investment proposals in the most radical set of fiscal policies ever to be presented at Holyrood.
Ahead of Stage 1 of the Scottish budget process this week, Labour’s alternative plan for the budget would deliver a near £1billion stimulus for the Scottish economy and allow for:
• Lifeline services to be protected across Scotland.
• An extra £100 million for the NHS.
• An increase in Child Benefit by £5 per child per week.
• A fully funded public sector pay increase.
Labour said the extra revenue could be generated by taking a more radical approach than the SNP on income tax and empowering local government with powers to raise more revenue.
Labour’s alternative income tax plan matches the SNP on a Scottish starter rate of 19p, but places the income threshold for a 45p rate at over £60,000 and introduces a new 50p top rate for those earning over £100,000.
Under these plans an MSP would pay over £7.50 more a week, compared to the SNP proposal where they pay just an extra 29 pence per week.
Someone earning £20,000, for example a nursing assistant or a child minder would pay £1.73 a week less.
Labour said the Scottish Parliament should also use the budget process to deliver huge economic powers to local authorities, by delivering a Social Responsibility Levy and enabling local authorities to charge a Tourist Tax and Land Value Tax.
Labour is announcing these proposals ahead of Stage 1 of the Scottish budget to outline how there can be a more radical alternative than the one currently proposed by the SNP, and will seek to build support for the proposals in Holyrood in the coming weeks.
Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard said:
“It is time to end the failed experiment of austerity by making radical use of the powers available to the Scottish Parliament.
“When we campaigned for a Scottish Parliament, we saw it as a bulwark against Tory austerity, but in recent years it has simply been a conveyor belt for cuts. That needs to end.
“It’s not good enough to tinker around the edges with as many as 260,000 children living in poverty. We should be looking at a budget that stops the cuts to lifeline services and increases Child Benefit.
“Labour is willing to ask the wealthiest few to pay more to benefit the many, and redistribute real economic power to local communities. The question now for other parties is do they agree with us?”
Labour Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Finance, James Kelly, said:
“Ahead of the Stage 1 debate of the budget, Labour has put together a revenue package that would redistribute power and wealth, save lifeline services, tackle child poverty and allow for an additional injection of cash in our NHS.
“We don’t think a budget that tinkers around the edges is answer to the challenges our country faces. You cannot cut your way to economic growth.