Alistair Carmichael: SNP ‘oppose tax cut for poor’

SCOTS will be better off under income tax proposals set out by the Liberal Democrats than those of the SNP, Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael has claimed.

Secretary of State Alistair Carmichael. Picture: Greg Macvean
Secretary of State Alistair Carmichael. Picture: Greg Macvean

The personal allowance - the amount a person can earn before paying income tax - will rise to £10,600 in 2015/16.

The Lib Dems want to raise this further to at least £12,500 during the next Parliament.

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Mr Carmichael, who was due to join the election campaign trail in Edinburgh today, said: “The SNP couldn’t be clearer about the fact that they will not match the Liberal Democrat promise to raise the starting point for income tax to £12,500 a year.

“Their offer to raise the threshold by the rate of inflation when inflation is at 0% means that people would get no extra help at all.

“It is wrong for the SNP to claim they are in favour of working people, yet oppose a tax cut for them. It is wrong for them to keep people on the minimum wage paying income tax when we have shown that we can lift them out of it.”

Mr Carmichael said the Lib Dems’ proposals would save taxpayers a further £400 a year.

“The SNP talk a good game about helping the less advantaged, but they don’t have a redistributive policy to their name,” he said.

“Here’s a chance for Nicola Sturgeon to match the Liberal Democrat promise of an additional £400 tax cut for the less well off. She doesn’t want to.”

SNP deputy leader Stewart Hosie said: “Alistair Carmichael is talking typical Lib Dem nonsense, no wonder people stopped believing them years ago - the SNP voted for the above-inflation increases in the starting point of income tax in the last Parliament.

“People in Scotland know that the only thing the Lib Dems are offering at this election is a further round of Tory cuts - between 2014/15 and 2019/20 alone, day-to-day spending per head is forecast to fall by £1,000 per head.

“Having signed off on every penny of Westminster’s cuts over the last five years, people in Scotland are simply no longer prepared to listen to the Lib Dems who have long since lost any shred of credibility.”