Jeremy Corbyn and Kezia Dugdale in Portobello

JEREMY Corbyn will today join Kezia Dugdale on the Holyrood campaign trail to tell voters only Labour will end austerity in Scotland.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and  Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dougdale. Picture: HeMedia
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dougdale. Picture: HeMedia

The pair will address a rally at Portobello Town Hall, arguing that the new powers coming to the Scottish Parliament mean spending cuts can be stopped north of the Border.

Mr Corbyn is expected to say: “All over the world people are rallying against austerity. Under Kezia Dugdale, Labour has set out a bold plan to use the powers of the Scottish Parliament to stop the cuts. With 
Labour, austerity can end.

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“As things stand, the income tax plans set out by the SNP for those powers wouldn’t provide a single extra penny for schools or hospitals, for investing in the future of the economy.”

Labour is proposing to set income tax 1p higher than George Osborne and bring back the 50p top rate for those earning over £150,000.

Ms Dugdale will say: “If we don’t do that, we’d have to cut schools. Classroom assistants would have to be sacked; extracurricular activities would be cancelled.

“And it wouldn’t just be cuts to schools; local communities, care for the elderly and thousands of jobs all across Scotland would face cuts. That’s the price of not using the powers.”

She will note that Nicola Sturgeon has said she won’t bring in a 50p top rate, but says she is in favour of it in principle.

“I say to her – it’s easy to be a socialist in principle. The problem is she isn’t in practice.”

And she rejected the idea the top rate should not be raised because the rich would just avoid it.

She said: “Paying tax isn’t optional for you or me, so it shouldn’t be optional for the richest either.

“It isn’t the job of government to make excuses for why the rich won’t pay their taxes; it is the job of government to make sure the rich do pay their taxes.”