Corbyn tells Scots only Labour will get tough on tax

Jeremy Corbyn will address Scots labour conference
Jeremy Corbyn will address Scots labour conference
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Jeremy Corbyn has told  Scots that only Labour will ensure the rich pay their "fair share" of taxes after the SNP ruled out increasing the top rate in  the Scottish budget.

The UK party leader was speaking as it was confirmed that he will be appearing at the Scottish Labour conference in Perth later this month.

Scots labour leader Kezia Dugdale had demanded a 50 pence top rate of tax for the country's top earners, but a budget deal hatched between the SNP and Greens last week fell short of this.

And Mr Corbyn pledged to set out Labour's left-wing credentials when he addresses the party conference on February 26.

“I will be bringing a message that only a Labour government would hand back wealth and control to people and communities," he said today.

“That only a Labour Government would put the public back into our economy, fix our rigged economy and break the grip of vested interests to help the many not the few.

“That only a Labour Government would redistribute power and wealth and shrink the gap in income and wealth, making sure the corporations and the richest pay their fair share of taxes.

“And that only a Labour Government would end the race to the bottom in the jobs market and guarantee education and employment rights for all.”

The budget deal agreed last week will mean the higher rate threshold for those paying tax at 40 pence will be frozen at £43,000, while rising to £45,000 elsewhere in the UK.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon today insisted this is a good deal for Scotland.

"It will help fund our schools, hospitals and other public services," she said in a column for the Daily Record.

London mayor Sadiq Khan and UK Deputy leader will also attend this year's Scots Labour conference.

Ms Dugdale said she will use he event to set out the party's opposition to a second independence referendum.

“The last few years have been among the most dramatic in UK political history," she said.

"The full implications for our country may not be known for some time, however one thing is clear now more than ever - people need a strong Scottish Labour Party focused on growing our economy, investing in public services and giving everybody a fair chance in life.

“Our country is divided enough, which is why Scottish Labour will firmly oppose the SNP’s reckless plans for a second independence referendum. Together, our country can be stronger.”