Tories in tax hike warnings ahead of draft SNP budget

The Conservatives have warned that firms may be forced to top up salaries to compensate for Scottish Government tax hikes.

Derek Mackay. Picture: John Devlin

The warning was delivered ahead of tomorrow’s draft Scottish budget which will see tax changes which will eventually see higher rate taxpayers pay £800 more than elsewhere in the UK.

The Scottish Government has said it will not pass on UK tax break caused by raising higher earners’ tax threshold.

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Today the Scottish Conservatives will use a Holyrood debate to warn the extra payments could encourage employers to relocate elsewhere in the UK. Chartered accountants Johnston Carmichael has said “tax equalisation” packages may be required to off set the Scottish tax rise.

Shadow finance secretary Murdo Fraser said: “The reality of the SNP’s tax grab is that firms may end up having to pay high quality staff a ‘Scottish supplement’ simply to persuade them to stay and work here.”

A spokesman for finance secretary Derek Mackay said: “The Tories’ bogus claims on tax are exposed by the fact Ruth Davidson wants to tax sickness and education by reintroducing prescription charges and tuition fees – while cutting the taxes of the richest.”