Nicola Sturgeon declined to rule out Scottish tax rises in the future when challenged to do so at First Minister’s Questions.
The Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson asked the First Minister for a “straight answer” on SNP tax policy.
Ms Davidson asked Ms Sturgeon: “Does she believe Scottish workers - no matter which end of the pay scale they are on - should never have to pay more tax here than they would do elsewhere in the UK?”
Ms Sturgeon replied by suggesting that the Conservatives, like Labour, were going into the May Scottish election arguing for more taxes on the low paid as a result of their wish to abolish free prescriptions.
The First Minister said: “They are going to bring back prescription charges for people on low pay. They are going to make people pay for their education. So let’s not pretend that the Tories aren’t proposing some pretty hefty tax rises as well.
“The difference of course is that they also want to cut taxes for people at the highest end of the income scale. So I will continue to argue for fairness. We will put forward in advance of this election the sensible policies that protect our public services and protect household incomes.”
After Ms Sturgeon’s response, Ms Davidson remarked: “I see we are going to have to wait a wee while for a proper answer.”