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Families and firms shouldn't pay higher taxes

The Scottish Conservatives will back a lower tax Scotland for both families and firms, Ruth Davidson has said.

She was speaking as the new Scottish rate of income tax kicks in today, meaning that every worker will now start paying income tax directly to the Scottish Government.

Ruth was speaking on a visit to Ballater where she met local firms which are getting back to normal following winter flooding.

She used the visit to highlight the Scottish Conservatives' three pronged offer on lower taxes.

  *   No higher income tax in Scotland than in the rest of the UK
  *   Capped increases in council tax, and protection for families in Band E and F homes
  *   A freeze in business rates paid by individual firms across Scotland

Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson said:

"This is a significant day for Scotland - from now on, the taxes we pay on our salaries start going directly to the Scottish Government.

"From next year, all income tax will flow direct to Holyrood. It means we need a grown-up debate about how we use these powers to protect family incomes, support jobs and grow the Scottish economy.

"We believe it is vital we do not have higher income taxes here in Scotland than elsewhere in the UK - not just because it is unfair but also because it would be bad for the Scottish economy and for Scottish jobs.

"While we agree the council tax freeze must now end, we still believe homeowners need protection, so we won't pass on extra rises to people in medium sized properties, as is being proposed by our opponents.

"We need to help job creators too. Local Scottish firms have been milked for cash by the SNP with ever higher business rates. We believe rates now need to be frozen for individual firms. That might help employers hire a new member of staff or take on an apprentice.

"Taken together, this is the right approach.

"While our opponents argue about exactly how much extra tax should be taken directly out of peoples' pay packets, we will focus on protecting salaries and supporting our job creators."

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