Mackay under pressure as tax take falls short of forecast

Finance Secretary Derek Mackay.
Finance Secretary Derek Mackay.
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Finance Secretary Derek Mackay has come under fire after it emerged Scotland’s new devolved taxes did not raise as much as the Scottish Government predicted.

In a Holyrood statement, Mr Mackay said £633 million had been raised in revenue from devolved taxes in 2016-17.

This was £38m less than had previously been estimated.

The bulk of the cash came from the Land and Buildings Transactions Tax (LBTT) which replaced stamp duty north of the Border, with this raising £484m, while the Scottish Landfill Tax brought in £149m.

The Finance Secretary revealed the figures to Holyrood, telling MSPs that the Scottish Government would also carry forward £191m from last year for spending in the 2017-18 budget. Overall, the Scottish Government spent £29.7m in 2016-17, against a limit of £29.9m.

The cash has already been earmarked for local authorities, the police and the economy.

Scottish Conservative finance spokesman Murdo Fraser claimed the LBTT rates set by ministers were slowing down the property market.

Mr Fraser said: “This is more evidence of an SNP government misusing the powers it has and mismanaging Scotland’s economy as a result.

“It was repeatedly warned that setting LBTT rates too high would have a detrimental impact on finances.

“Those warnings have been proved right and if the SNP doesn’t sort out devolved taxes, both the economy and the public purse will suffer.”

Mr Mackay said: “Once again we demonstrated our sound grip on the ­public finances. We have consistently adopted a position of controlling public expenditure to ensure we live within the budget caps that apply.”