Letters: Derek Mackay’s Robin Hood budget could bring him an arrow in the back

Nicola Sturgeon and Derek Mackay on their way to the debate on the Scottish Government's draft spending and tax plans for 2019-20. Picture: PA
Nicola Sturgeon and Derek Mackay on their way to the debate on the Scottish Government's draft spending and tax plans for 2019-20. Picture: PA
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Letters to the editor: Friday, 14 December

SNP Finance Secretary Derek Mackay’s budget proposals mean middle and higher income earners in Scotland will continue to pay more income tax than elsewhere in the UK.

While everyone earning over £33,000 will decidedly pay more here, the amounts aren’t massive, at least for ­middle income earners – so why ­bother?

The generosity of the ­Barnett Formula has long allowed more to be spent on public services north of the Border – not SNP tax tinkering. The reality is that Mr Mackay simply adheres to the nationalist party line of making anything they touch different to the rest of the UK, merely for the sake of manufacturing a difference.

So, if indyref2 were ever to happen, cue Nicola Sturgeon inevitably constructing a ­narrative that pretty much ­everything is divergent already in Scotland – independence just rubber stamps matters.

If you’re a dyed-in-the-wool nationalist you’ll nod approvingly – the rest of us marvel at the petty pointlessness of it all. Mr Mackay’s tax tinkering is a fiscal equivalent of adding Gaelic to road signs – different to England yet essentially futile.

Martin Redfern

Edinburgh

Finance Minister Derek Mackay is sticking to his guns with a determination to rob the rich and give to the poor in Scotland with the highest personal taxation system in the UK.

This in addition to the ­crippling commercial taxes introduced could well be the straw that will break the back of the Scottish economy, which is currently in the doldrums.

Derek Mackay should be warned that while pioneering a punitive taxation system for Scotland may make him ­popular in the SNP party, it is the pioneers that end up with arrows in their backs.

Dennis Forbes Grattan

Aberdeen

Mr Mackay is being true to form and simply carrying on regardless with the SNP’s desire to close attainment gaps artificially ( ‘Mackay’s budget moves on tax will hit middle earners’, Scotsman, December 13.)

This budget is obviously counter productive as it cannot stimulate the economy, merely depress it, so where is the logic in running a taxation system based simply on the stick with no carrot being dangled?

Joined-up thinking is not the forte of the SNP, hence the ­myriad previous failed and abandoned policies and the lack of progress in education and the health service.

This budget fails to address these fundamental problems by making recruiting ­badly-needed senior staff even ­harder to do.

As the next Holyrood ­elections are now coming that much closer, the negative results of this budget will take on a big electoral significance. Mr Mackay has obviously not factored that into his calculations.

Dr Gerald Edwards

Glasgow