Letter: tax concession to lower paid is "patronising and derisory"

Derek Mackay delivers his Scottish budget. Picture: PA
Derek Mackay delivers his Scottish budget. Picture: PA
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What exactly is the point of having a ‘starter’ tax band of 19% to cover income earned between £11,850 and £13,850?

At the current tax rate of 20%, there would be £400 due on this £2000. At 19%, there would be £380 due. That is a difference of £20. (That is £20 a year, not a week or a month).

The most damaging tax decision made by Gordon Brown was the 75 pence per week increase in the state pension. This tax concession to the lower paid will make them 38 pence per week better off. It is patronising and derisory, and serves no useful purpose whatsoever. It merely adds one more calculation that any computer system administering this has to make, and increases the chance of a mistake.

If you look at the free personal allowance, the Tories at Westminster have aspirations to increase this to £12,500 in the near future anyway, therefore almost squeezing out this new band completely.

For this current tax year, 2017-18, the free personal tax allowance has gone up from £11,000 to £11,500.

So, if you are earning £13,850, you have saved 20% of £500 or £100 from changes in UK taxation, and £20 from changes in Scottish taxation.

I am fairly certain that the snow that is currently falling will last longer than this particular tick box exercise.

Victor Clements

Taybridge Terrace, Aberfeldy