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Now Sturgeon refuses to rule out tax rises
SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon has refused to rule out tax rises beyond May’s Holyrood election.
 
After being questioned on the issue by Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson, the First Minister would not reveal if she wanted to hike income tax once new powers arrive in 2017.
It follows commitments by both Labour and the Liberal Democrats to increase everyone’s tax by 1p, leaving the Scottish Conservatives as the only low-tax party going into the vote.
 
At First Minister’s Questions today, Ruth also urged Ms Sturgeon to work towards an agreement on the fiscal framework with the UK Government, to ensure the Scottish Parliament’s significant additional powers could be delivered by next year.
 
Ruth said today that the SNP were now the only main party which hadn’t set out what it wanted to do with sweeping tax powers.
 
Labour announced this week everyone – even the lowest paid – would be taxed more under their plans, while the Liberal Democrats had previously committed to similar proposals.
The Scottish Conservatives believe no-one in Scotland should pay more than workers elsewhere in the UK, and that – when affordable – the rate should be decreased.
 
Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson said:
“We’ve made our position on income tax clear – we do not believe workers in Scotland should have to pay more than their counterparts across the UK. 
“Indeed, when it is affordable, we’d actually like to see the burden eased.
 
 “Now we know both Labour and the Liberal Democrats are threatening a tax raid, hitting every worker in Scotland.
 
“Then we have the SNP, which refuses to tell voters how it wants to use future tax powers.
 
“Nicola Sturgeon cannot have it both ways – she needs to outline whether or not she thinks it’s fair for Scots to be hit harder in the pocket or not.
 
“Agreeing the fiscal framework will be key to delivering new tax powers, and I hope she makes sufficient progress in order to secure the deal the people of Scotland want.”

Good news for Scotland’s economy despite SNP ‘spreading doom’ on Brexit

Good news for Scotland’s economy despite SNP ‘spreading doom’ on Brexit

Unemployment has fallen substantially both in Scotland and the UK, despite the SNP “spreading doom” on the impact of Brexit.

New figures have revealed the number of people looking for a job north of the border has fallen by 14,000, while wages are also on the rise.

It means the unemployment rate fell to just 3.9 per cent for the period between June and August this year.

The UK-wide unemployment rate also fell considerably, and now stands at only four per cent.

The Office for National Statistics said pay rose by 3.1 per cent in the last quarter, outstripping the inflation level of 2.5 per cent.

The improved position comes despite the SNP relentlessly warning about the consequences of leaving the European Union.

Only yesterday, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon spoke in London to speculate about the impact, and reiterated her desire to reverse the June 2016 vote.

However, the Scottish Conservatives have now told the SNP government to stop the scare-mongering, and start examining the opportunities which will be presented once the Brexit process is complete.

 

Scottish Conservative shadow economy secretary Dean Lockhart said:

“For all the Brexit-related scaremongering from the SNP, it appears the economy both in Scotland and the rest of the UK is performing well.

“This is in the face of an SNP government which is refusing to examine the opportunities of Brexit, and using it only to spread doom and rabble-rouse for independence.

“These figures do fluctuate, but this encouraging news at least suggests there could well be a good future for Scotland’s economy once we’ve left the European Union.”

 

Ends

 

Notes to editors:

 

The statistics were released this morning:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-business-45873336

Sturgeon’s Brexit intervention all about independence

Sturgeon’s Brexit intervention all about independence

Nicola Sturgeon’s latest intervention on Brexit is motivated solely by the break-up of Britain, the Scottish Conservatives have said.

Speaking in London today, the First Minister reiterated her desire for the June 2016 vote to leave the European Union to be ignored, or at least for the UK to remain in the single market and customs union.

She also claimed any concession made to Northern Ireland should apply to Scotland.

However, Scottish Conservative constitution spokesman Adam Tomkins said the SNP leader’s only reason for intervening was to push the case for another referendum on Scottish independence.

He pointed out there was nothing new in today’s speech, or indeed the accompanying paper being published by the SNP government.

Ms Sturgeon’s speech came on the same day as a new campaign for Scottish independence was launched.

 

Scottish Conservative constitution spokesman Adam Tomkins said:

“There was absolutely nothing new in this speech from Nicola Sturgeon.

“As ever, she is not intervening for the sake of a good Brexit deal, or for the good of the Northern Ireland border issue.

“She made this speech in the hope of drumming up the prospects for Scottish independence.

“From the second the Brexit vote became clear, that has been the SNP government’s only motivation on this issue.

“If the SNP doesn’t back a deal, it is automatically supporting a no-deal scenario – something the nationalists have admitted would be bad for Scotland.

“And, of course, they don’t care if outcomes are bad for Scotland, so long as they’re good for the prospects of another independence referendum.

“This was just the latest opportunistic contribution from Nicola Sturgeon, whose behaviour on the Brexit process has been selfish and utterly shameless.”

 

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