SNP dubbed ‘financially illiterate’ after attempting to blame high Scottish taxes on Westminster

An SNP minister has been dubbed “financially illiterate” after attempting to blame Scotland’s higher taxes on Westminster.

The row broke out after Scottish businessman Sir Tom Hunter criticised plans for an “advanced” tax band, set to be introduced in Scotland from April 6. The band will mean that those earning £75,000 and above will be paying more income tax.

Hunter said having six income tax bands is “absurd”, comparing it to Ireland which only has two, plus a higher threshold for taxation.

Hitting out at his remarks on X, Scotland’s net zero secretary Mairi McAllan said: “@BBCRadioScot discussing Scottish tax & growth, with comparisons to Ireland – which is fine except there’s no mention that successful Ireland is (a) independent and (b) in the EU single market.

The SNP’s tax system has been criticised by Sir Tom Hunter


“These are key recipes for growth and critical to Scotland’s future prosperity.

“In the meantime, our progressive tax regime sees most people in Scotland pay less tax than [UK] while asking those who can to pay a bit more – a social contract helping insulate our people & public services from relentless UK austerity & providing services we all benefit from.

“Income tax must be managed [very] carefully, with close regard to behaviours. But let’s have the discussion in the round – including that Scotland doesn’t have most key powers, was dragged out of EU & that our progressive income tax raises additional £1.5bn compared to following UKG plans.”

Scottish Conservative shadow finance secretary Liz Smith MSP slammed her remarks, saying McAllan “still hasn’t grasped” that the SNP has created a “huge tax gulf”.

She told the Scottish Express: “Màiri McAllan’s financially illiterate attempt to blame the UK government for higher Scottish taxes is absurd.

“It was the SNP’s choice to bring in higher rates, and no one else’s.

“The fact that she then boasts about them being ‘progressive’ shows that she still hasn’t grasped that the SNP’s creation of a huge tax gulf with the rest of the UK stymies growth, holds back business, deters skilled workers, and puts Scottish jobs in danger.”

Mairi McAllan (left) and Humza Yousaf (right)

Scottish Conservative shadow finance secretary Liz Smith said Mairi McAllan (left) “still hasn’t grasped” that the SNP has created a “huge tax gulf”



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