Tax row after SNP accuse Ruth Davidson of ‘misleading’ claims

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A row has broken out over Scotland’s new tax regime after the SNP accused Conservative leader Ruth Davidson of making misleading statements on how many taxpayers would see their bills increase.

Ms Davidson tweeted early this morning that “If you earn over £26,000, like a nurse, police officer or teacher - from today, the SNP are taking more money out of your pay packet.”

The Scottish Conservative leader tweeted this morning that “If you earn over £26,000, like a nurse, police officer or teacher - from

today, the SNP are taking more money out of your pay packet.”

The MSP for Edinburgh Central linked to a newspaper article which appeared to show an increased bill for their tax year compared to last wouldn’t kick in

unless a taxpayer earned more than £33,000.

Ruth Davidson. Picture: Jane Barlow/PA Wire

Ruth Davidson. Picture: Jane Barlow/PA Wire

READ MORE: Poll: Most Scots back SNP income tax plan

The SNP has insisted that no-one who earns less than £33,000 will see their tax rise under the controversial plans.

The Scottish Conservatives had previously used the £26,000 figure to compare a higher tax bill Scots might see in comparison to those earning the same in other parts of the UK.

Sources in the SNP pointed to a recent finding by ‘The Ferret’ fact check service which they say contradicts the Conservatives claims of a ‘nat tax’ which will hit Scots earning more than £26,000.

READ MORE: New tax system could see Scotland move ‘further’ from UK

SNP MSP George Adam said: “It’s becoming a bit of a running theme for Ruth Davidson to mislead people - just this week, The Ferret’s fact checkers found Ruth Davidson to be the least trustworthy politician in Scotland, while also revealing that 70% of what the Scottish Tories say is false.

“The Ferret themselves have already debunked these ridiculous false Tory claims on income tax as long ago as December.

“But it’s no surprise that they continue to spread this misinformation - even the table which Ruth Davidson has tweeted shows her claim about income tax is totally untrue, showing somebody earning up to £33,000 will be paying the same or less.

“The reality is that the majority of taxpayers in Scotland will be paying less than their counterparts south of the border - and the Tories just can’t handle the simple fact that we are making taxation fairer for people across Scotland, while they just want tax cuts for the wealthiest.”

Senior Scottish Conservative sources, however, hit back at the accusations that Ms Davidson had misled the public with her tweet, pointing out that the Ferret had amended their initial fact-check.

They insist that changes to the taxes set at a UK-level, such as the personal allowance of tax free income, meant that the new Scottish tax bands do represent an increase in tax on everyone earning more than £26,000.

A party spokesman said: “The SNP needs to speak to its fact checking machine before issuing any other idiotic and inaccurate statements.”