SCOTTISH Conservative leader Ruth Davidson will today claim it is a “myth” most Scots want to see the new powers pledged to Holyrood used to raise taxes to fund welfare.
Ms Davidson is expected to say “majority Scottish opinion” favours using the powers pledged by the Smith Commission – tasked with delivering a new devolution settlement – to cut taxation.
She will go onto attack what she says is an “SNP-Labour consensus” that wants to use new fiscal responsibilities for Holyrood to pursue higher tax levels.
She will claim the Scottish Conservatives are more in “tune with majority opinion” than Labour and the nationalists on the issue of how the new powers should be used.
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Ms Davidson, speaking at the David Hume Institute in Edinburgh, says: “The SNP-Labour consensus would have us believe Scots are champing at the bit to pay more tax and use the money to fund more welfare payments. It is a myth.”
The Scottish Conservative leader will cite polling, which she suggests show most voters north of the border back her party’s controversial plan to curb welfare spending.
The Survation poll found 26.6 per cent agreed Holyrood should use new powers to “provide a more generous approach” to benefits, with 35 per cent saying they would like to see the cost of benefits cut.
Ms Davidson added: “We will always be on the side of cutting tax.
“And I believe that message is exactly what most Scots want to hear.
“More taxes will soon be devolved to go with it, and I will wager that when rates and bands are unveiled, it is the Conservative Party who will represent majority Scottish opinion by backing a low tax Scotland.”
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