Scots pay less taxes and charges than elsewhere in UK, SNP say

Scots pay an average of £840 a year less in taxes and statutory charges than their counterparts in England, the SNP has claimed.

The party said the latest available figures for income tax, council tax, water bills, medical charges and tuition fees also show that in comparison to Wales, people in Scotland pay almost £500 less; and if university tuition fees are included the figure balloons to £10,000.

However, the report comes just weeks after experts warned that council tax rises are inevitable across Scotland, following the abolition of the cap in the Scottish Budget, which allows councils to set their own rates – with increases expected of up to 30 per cent in some areas.

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In Scotland, the average Band D Council Tax is £590, lower than England and £423 lower than Wales, while the average household water bill in Scotland is £33 lower than in England and Wales. Income tax for all median waged employees is £14 lower, while in England, residents pay £9.35 per prescription, plus up to £35 for an eye test – prescriptions are free in Scotland;

Students in England pay up to £9,250 in England and up to £9,000 in Wales in tuition fees, whereas tuition is free in Scotland for full-time, first-time Scottish-domiciled students.

In total, the calculations show that people in Scotland can save up to £839.87 than people in England and £495.22 compared to people in Wales.

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Council tax rises now inevitable across Scotland, warn experts

MSP Rona Mackay said: “As these comparisons show Scotland is better off with the SNP than the policies of the Tories or Labour party.

“Far from being the party of low taxation these figures expose the Tory party as the high tax wolf in low tax wool – placing the burden of taxation on ordinary people whilst they cut tax for bankers. As with much of their rhetoric the facts show a party that can’t be trusted. These figures underline the SNP commitment to protecting household budgets.

She added: “Council tax levels are significantly lower, average income tax lower and by keeping Scottish Water in public hands we’ve ensured bills are consistently lower than the spiralling costs in the privatised industry that serves the rest of Great Britain. “Prescription charges and eye test charges are nothing more than a tax on ill-health - and instead of abolishing them, the Tories in England have hiked them up further. Thanks to the SNP, people in Scotland who are sick or living with long-term illness do not have to choose between medication or other necessities such as food or paying bills.

“Free tuition is a central part of Scotland’s social contract and we see education as a public good which should be treated as such, instead of graduates being lumbered with a hefty price tag. These figures show the SNP’s commitment to protecting household budgets at a time when Brexit is exacerbating the UK’s cost of living crisis with more impending tax increases by this Tory government on national insurance to pay for a policy failure in England.”

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