YouGov has a new poll of Scottish voting intentions in the Sunday Times. The full voting intentions, with changes from YouGov’s last Scottish poll in September are:

In a Westminster General election CON 20%(+3), LAB 38%(+6), LDEM 11%(-2), SNP 29%(-5)
In the Scottish Parliament constituency vote CON 14%(+1), LAB 31%(+5), LDEM 12%(-3), SNP 39%(-3)
In the Scottish Parliament regional vote CON 16%(+2), LAB 29%(+4), LDEM 11%(-3), SNP 32%(-3)

As in the rest of the country there is a clear increase in Labour support following conference season and the government’s handling of the credit crunch. Here it has come at the expense of the Liberal Democrats and the SNP, who now once again trail Labour in Westminster voting intentions (though they continue to hold a, now much shrunken, lead at Holyrood).


59 Responses to “Labour move back ahead in Scotland”

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  1. When were the Conservatives last at 20% in a Scotish poll? I don’t really follow the Scottish numbers but I think this must be easily the best score since 1992.

  2. on the yougov figures the conservatives are +3 one from abour two from lib dem, labour gain two from lib dem and lose one the the snp and one to the conservatives, the lib dems would lose to everyone and the snp will gain one from labour

    LAB 41 NC
    SNP 7 +1
    LD 7 -4
    CON 4 +3

  3. Interesting to see the Tories & Labour gaining suppport north of the border in the GE question, with both the SNP & Liberals losing out. I think this is a reflection of the Scots realising at the next election there is real chance of a change of government and it will be between the Tories & Labour.

  4. This isn’t unexpected given the boost Brown has had elsewhere, and particularly the fact that he has always been more popular in Scotland than anywhere else.

    The SNP has actually only been ahead of Labour in three of the last fourteen Scottish polls, all be it the last three.

    The 2005 shares of the vote were Labour 39%, Tory 16%, SNP 18%, Libdems 23%, so with at least a year till the next election we have Labour down 1%, The Tories up 4%, the SNP up 11% and the LibDems down 12%.

    The real big losers are the Libdems but as there vote is concentrated they will still probably hold most of their seats but won’t win any of their target ones.

    It doesn’t on these figures look like Alex’s target of 20 seats is likely, but as I’ve always predicted about 10 I am still sure we will still make gains.

    The Tories look like three or four is possible while Mikes twelve is still fantasy.

    If I had to call it I’d say, with two weeks to go, the odds have slightly shifted to favour Labour hanging on in Glenrothes, but with a bleak Christmas ahead I like most here expect them to slip back in the coming months.

    Peter.

  5. Scotland Votes ( http://www.scotlandvotes.com/ ) gives the following on these figures;

    Labour 44 (-2), SNP 48 (+1), Tory 20 (+3), LibDem 13 (-3), Green 3 (+1), Ind 1(0).

    Only Labour or the SNP can form a majority government with one other party and oddly enough the only party that can be is the least likely choice for both, the Tories.

    With a possible Cameron government at Westminster the Tories in coalition might if this continues be a big issue in the next Scottish parliament election campaign.

    Peter.

    Peter.

  6. “This isn’t unexpected given the boost Brown has had elsewhere,”

    But why have Conservatives gained since September Peter?-and why do you think SNP have lost support?

  7. Peter, the Sunday Times does the Holyrood calculation somewhat differently, excluding us pesky Greens altogether, but they report:

    SNP: 47 (-)
    Labour: 43 (-3)
    Tory: 19 (+2)
    Liberal: 13 (-3)

    That shows the four largest parties down a net of four, and I’m assuming the SSP aren’t taking any of those for obvious reasons. It’s a straw in the wind, but for a Green it’s also a reason to be cheerful. See:
    link

  8. Colin,

    The Tories have been on or around 20% in Scotland for much of the last few years.

    If I had to make a guess I’d say Labours recent boost has hurt the SNP and come mostly from us while as elsewhere in the UK the Tories have gained from the drift down of Libdem support.

    The Tories and labour are up 9%, the SNP and libdems down 7% so 2% must be from others although that’s within the margin of error. Of course this could be a rogue poll or indeed the last one with the SNP so high but I’d discount that as the fit with the wider narrative.

    In September must saw Brown as out on his feet lucky to make it through the conference season, now he’s seen as the man of the moment which is exactly what the poll change shows.

    In Scotland the main choice is between Labour and the SNP which as with Labour v Tory with the Libdems weak means that any gain for one comes mostly from the other and therefore it gives a large swing.

    So the story is SNP and labour out in front with it neck and neck while in Line with the UK but on a smaller scale the Tories have made solid slow progress largely at the expense of the Libdems.

    What the Tories haven’t done as they have recovered in Scotland is take votes from Labour, Labours lost support has gone to the SNP.

    If that is what is happening then it may be that Libdem votes going to the tories rather than the SNP may make it harder for the SNP to challenge for libdem seats as we would want Libdem votes to go straight to us to have a good chance of a win.

    Still it depends on how people vote tactically seat by seat.

    Peter.

  9. Thanks Peter.

    I was struck by DC’s recent remark that Scotland could be viable as Independent-but he would prefer it to remain in the Union.

    …a “realism” which contrasts with Labour’s more intransigent opposition, but a “heart” which doesn’t upset Unionists?…intriguing .

  10. Not quite ‘realism’ – rather self-interest. If Scotland were independent, Labour would lose a tranche of safe seats for ever and would find it virtually impossible to win a majority of English seats. England could well be seen as a one-party state, though Labour would initially have some safe Welsh seats. But then, how long before Welsh independence?

  11. Wales would never be feasible as independent and the people of Wales understand this.

    I agree with Colin. Yes it would suit the Tories if Scotland were independent politically but they believe in the Union. They are however practical enough to talk about it.
    It might be said that Brown’s reluctance to even countenance an inependent Scotland is because of his own interests in that he knows that Labour would probably never be in power at Westinster again.

    I’m a Tory supporter and a Unionist but I say if the people of Scotland really want independence then it should be allowed to happen. That’s called democracy.

  12. Labour have topped the poll in Scotland in every general election since 1959, something I do not expect will change next time. I wonder if they can hold Glenrothes?

  13. If you think of the Union as like a marriage, why is it that only one partner is allowed to sue for divorce (i.e. have a referendum on independence)?

    It does look from the above poll as though the SNP are fairly secure to be the largest party for the next Scottish Parliament. Would the SNP form a coalition with the Tories? If they did, I presume that the price would be no referendum unless it looked likely to be lost.

  14. John C and KTL, Labour won 286 seats to the tories 194 seats in the 2005 general election, when both main parties gained around 35 % of the vote with the tories slightly ahead. The current electoral system does favour Labour considerably and gave Labour a majority in England. If we reformed our electoral system to more of PR based system, it would still be rare for the tories to gain a majority in England. Even in the great tory landslide of 1983, the tories obtained less than 50 % of the vote.

    It would seem to me that despite 18 months of relatively popular SNP administration in Scotland, support for independance according to You Gov is stuck at around a third of the vote

  15. PETER,
    you maybe right in saying that the lib dems have lost most of their surport to the SNP & CON not just a few votes mind, i’ve put the latest figures in and in most seats the conservatives would over take the lib dems to go third or second, for me the south of scotland around the borders has always been a conservative target as there are more voters there who listern to english politics however if you go towards glasgow its mostly scotish first ministers questions people listern to the point im making is the further south you go in scotland or the more english the area is the more chance there is of a conservative win, labour win or lib dem win not snp whos main backing will come from the strongly pro scotland glasgow and west central lowlands

  16. Peter, it is quite refreshing for someone on here to actually acknowledge a poll that goes against the party the support.

    Considering the last couple of months we have had polls that have been called outliers, not true or ignored, your honesty should be congratulated.

    I have had a word with Gordon with regards your car, he said he will get Mandy to pay for your breakdown charges…..in roubles obviously.

  17. Interesting figures overall. I do expect the SNP to take Glenrothes on the basis that they have the similar Scottish parliament seat if nothing else. However the past few weeks have made the position much more interesting than expected.

    I do find it somewhat strange that the main SNP Glenrothes focus is on energy bills (according to the BBC reporting). Seems to me that they would rather not highlight that they are running most of the key Scottish services in addition to the local Glenrothes (Fife) Council which they can influence more than energy bills.

    London Lad

  18. Pete B:

    I don’t think anyone would say that only one partner in the Union can hold a referendum on independence, but only in Scotland is there a mainstream party that advocates that policy.

    Stuart Gergory:
    Speaking as someone with family across Scotland, I can assure you that those in the south of the country feel no less Scottish, and certainly no-more English (!) than those further north. If I understand your point correctly, you are arguing that perhaps those who live nearer the English border (ie the Borders, Dumfries and Galloway) place greater store in the Union with England. This might well be aided by the tv coverage from Border etc.

    I wouldn’t mix up national identity with Unionist/ Nationalist. All my unionist friends see themselves as Scottish, and proudly so. Some of them would happily accept British as well (although I can think of a couple who would not, despite wanting to remain part of Britain).

  19. This POLL all goes in line with what i predicted for Scotland – the Tories creeping up behind the scenes and should not be ignored north of the border. The Scottish like everyone else in the UK are feeling the pinch badly and desire a new government urgently – thoughts of independence will go on the back burner till the economy is sorted – they feel that there is only way to get a new national government is to turn to the Tories (many in Scotland will not admit it in a POLL face to face).

    Yes I still stand by my 12 Scottish seats going Tory – 20 months is a long time in politics – watch this space – i have seen nothing that makes me change my prediction.

    I am as sure of that last prediction as I am that Barack Obama will not win the US presidency – no matter what the POLLS are saying !

  20. steven f-

    the real fight is in the south for the conservative, lets be honest you don’t see many englishman outside of the border areas of scotland, well thats what the demographics point to and that in my eyes is also true of some citis in scotland, but if you look at the 97 election result you could draw a line from the borders up to edinbrough and most of the seats in the east north line would be winnable at an election and would be a far out chance for the SNP in this area it is only LD,LAB,CON anywhere north of this or as i’ve said the central lowlands is winnable SNP country.

  21. Mike Richardson – “poll” is a word not an acronym, therefore absolutely no need to use capitals. :)

    Paul Goddard – I think you have your facts wrong. Labour gained about 3% more votes than the Conservatives at the last General Election, not slightly fewer as you assert. The numbers of seats won weren’t right either.

  22. Stuart,

    The commission for racial Equality gives a good breakdown here;

    http://83.137.212.42/sitearchive/cre/diversity/map/scotland/index.html

    Basically, scotland is 96% white, and less than 10% are “other British”

    This probably underestimates the number of Scots English, people who were born in England but who now see themselves as scots by choice. The issue from an electoral point of view is whether these people would support the union or not.

    I’ve probably met equal numbers who support the Union because they are English, as those who support Independence because they think it is best for the country they now live in.

    Having said that there is a third larger group who are English and support the Union because they think it is best for Scotland, rather than because they are English.

    As to the Tory vote I think the closer to England argument is weak. There are strong areas of tory support in rural Scotland from the Borders right up in to the north east and this reflects the general wealth in what in many areas could be seen as the commuter belt.

    The fact that the bulk of the borders population is to the East between Edinburgh and Newcastle means that by nature it is a good area for the Tories who have always had higher than average support in arable areas.

    They have similar support in Perthshire, in some parts around stirling and to the North and south of Glasgow. Like much of the midlands and North of england this support tends to be overwhelmed by labour support in yowns and cities so doesn’t show up as seats. this can be seen in the North of england in particularly where the Tories have a minority of seats but a lot of good seconds.

    My impression of borderers is that they are proud Scots who are comfortable with the union as opposed to staunch unionists, exactly the kind of people the SNP has still to convince.

    TJ,

    Thanks for the comment.

    I do try to be as objective as I can. Apart from anything else I think most people here dismiss the most partisan comments, so flying the flag is probably counter productive.

    If I do go in to “party mode” at times, it tends to be when I feel that the SNP position is being misrepresented, such as claims that LIT is a tax increase, when it actually represents a (slight) tax cut.

    It will be interesting to see the full poll breakdown ( if the link works…) to see if it gives regional figures.

    Peter.

  23. Barnaby – The Oracle uses capitals to highlight the fact that his comments are balanced, un-partisan and restricted to analysis of the polls.

    I believe he uses capitals to remind himself of Anthony’s comments policy.

    Not for The Oracle the epithet “swivel-eyed loon” then.

    There seems to be clear water developing re to borrow or cut our way through the recession. I have a feeling most of the voters of Glenrothes would prefer to borrow. What’s the SNP view?

  24. Barnaby – Paul was referring to votes in England. More English people voted Tory than Labour in 05.

  25. I was interested to hear on the radio this morning that the SNP finance minister ( John Swinney-Today-8am )is looking again at levying local income tax on investments and unearned income including property.
    I don’t doubt that the Inland Revenue to whom the minister has sent an e mail have already received a number of letters from taxpayers living north of the border making it quite clear that they do not consent to their private tax details being made available to a third party and that any such disclosure would be regarded not only as breaking the code of confidentiality that exists between the IR and its clients but would also constitute a possible breach of the law on human rights.
    The IR will wriggle and wriggle to avoid answering either the minister or the taxpayers in anything like clear terms because it will feel itself to be between a rock and a hard place but eventually it will have to do so and as such be guided by both its legal advice and its political masters. I don’t doubt the eventual conclusion will be to politely tell the SNP to get lost.

  26. Actually I think the “clear water” is an attempt by GB to manufacture what isn’t there.

    Both Cameron & Osborne today pointed out that higher borrowing is a consequence of lower tax revenues & higher welfare payments.
    This is not “clear water”, nor even a counter- recessionary policy-it is a function of the recession & the state of Public Finances.

    No new public expenditure is planned by Darling-merely changed phasing of existing plans ( in so far as that may be possible)

    One of the disenting “sixteen economists” was on Radio Five Live this evening making an interesting point:-
    If the plan actually is to increase borrowing to fund a Real Increase in Public Expenditure , then there is a more effective way of utilising the additional funds borrowed-tax reductions to boost consumption in areas of demand dictated by consumers & not guessed at by Civil Servants.

  27. Sceptic Peg I don’t think your crystal ball needs Flash, maybe you need a new crystal ball.

    Your biggest prediction to date and you think McCain will beat Obama. I think your blue tinted glasses need checking as the colour is clouding your crystal ball.

    I have copied and pasted your biggest prediction so far, a McCain win. Please don’t go missing if your are wrong like you did during the Brown bounce, your ramblings are a great advert for the Conservative party.

    Before you say it – The American electorate….full of outliers?

  28. Nick K, I don’t see a problem.

    Suppose a Scottish Govt levies a 3% LIT, so presumably basic rate becomes 23% and higher rate 43%.

    There will have to be something flagging up to HMRC that the person is domiciled in Scotland and therefore need to have the extra 3% totted up on their income.

    For those who submit tax returns, surely they would simply tot up all their taxable income, multiply by the correct percentage, and then remit the correct proportion of this amount to Scotland. Something similar will no doubt happen with PAYE tax.

    No need for the Scottish Govt to know how much any one individual earns in property or investment income – or, come to that, employed income.

    Any LIT based only on PAYE-able income would surely be bizarre and unworkable.

  29. Stuart – I think Peter has done a good job of pointing out the demographics. I’d just like to add that it’s only 5 years since the SNP last held Galloway, and at the last two elections they’ve been les than 600 (frustrating!) votes from winning Tweedale, Ettrick & Lauderdale. I’d acknowledge that the South of the country is less fertile territory for the SNP than Tayside, for example, but I think it would be wrong to exaggerate the differences.

  30. I forgot to enquire if The Oracle lives under a bridge and eats billy-goats…? ;-)

  31. Sunbeam, thanks for your comment at 1.33pm of the 27th
    Barnaby Marder, 12.48 pm on the 27th, sorry if I was unclear. 2005 election results for England were:
    Lab 286 seats, 35.4%
    Con 194 seats, 35.7%
    LD 47 seats, 22.9%
    Oths 2 seats, 6.0%

  32. Nick,

    As Phil says, the details of an individuals income would be no more open to scrutiny by the Scottish Government Ministers than it would be to UK Ministers.

    The system would be run by the IR just like UK income tax and the information would be confidential in the same way.

    Oddly enough, if we do go down the road of taxing investment income, I suspect all those high earners who have been using it as an excuse to oppose LIT will be kicking themselves, because now they will have to pay tax on their earned and unearned cash.

    Like the Chinese say;

    Be careful what you wish for it may come true…….

    Peter.

  33. beg your pardon Paul.

  34. The full tables are up here;

    http://www.yougov.com/uk/archives/pdf/copy%20of%20results%2008%2010%2024%20scotland.pdf

    Some interesting points;

    Labour strongest with the under 25’s the SNP with theover 55’s.

    Support for Independence is at 31% with 53% against and 14% don’t know.

    They ask two questions to qualify it, one on the £37bn for the banks and the other on a Tory government.

    The £37bn question, has 16% more likely to vote for independence, but mostly SNP supporters who would probably vote yes anyway, and 28% less likely, but again more Tories than any other party who you would equally expect to vote No.

    As Anthony has said (warned) before these questions often reinforce peoples existing views rather than alter them. None the less it’s probably fair to say that the bail out has shaken support for Independence all be it slightly.

    On the Tory question it’s 40% more likely to vote Yes and 10% less likely.

    Again it’s the SNP’s supporters most likely to vote yes and the Tories least (although 3% of SNP supporters are “far less” likely and strangely 4% of Tories “far more” likely.)

    However the 47% of Labour and 36% of Libdems say they are more likely while only 0% and 12% are less likely, which does seem to suggest that a Cameron government could see support for Independence boosted perhaps to over 40%, which a year before the referendum could make things interesting.

    If over the coming months Browns popularity fades as the recession bites and there is a split between Labour boosting the economy by borrowing and the Tories looking to hold spending down then if the Tories win at Westminster they would have a tough choice to make.

    Do they cut Scottish spending by reforming Barnett and risk a boost for the SNP running up to a referendum, wait till after the referendum and then reform Barnett later, but before the Holyrood elections in 2011, or try to bed in for a while and don’t move on barnett till 2012.

    Equally as I have said before if support for independence does rise after a Tory victory at the next election, expect the three unionist parties to effectively block the referendum bill in Holyrood.

    Peter.

  35. Sorry that should read 10% of labour supporters not 0%.

    Peter.

  36. A new Comres poll will show the Tory lead down to 8 points tomorrow I’m told for the UK as a whole. If the SNP dont win the by-election maybe it is a sign that politics are returning to the ‘normal’ status for a while. Watch for that GE in the Spring!!!

  37. This Comres poll is just one point lower for the Cons. as previously. In their previous Comres poll the Lib Dems poll did a few points better than other polls at 16%.

    The regularity with which the Lib Dems have achieved 16% suggests to me that this is their core vote. It will be interesting to see how they did in this Comres poll.

    The ‘unnaturally’ low polls for the Lib Dems suggest that in reality the Conservative lead is indeed at present slightly smaller than the last few polls suggest.

  38. I think it’s showing 39-31-16.
    The Tory share is 1% or 2% down depending whether you take it against the previous Independent or Ind on Sunday poll.
    The highest Tory share in Comres was 46% over the summer, so this is a concern, but frankly, after Osborne’s stupid behaviour and inadequate explanation, when the country is facing a recession, lucky it’s not worse.

  39. I’m concerned that there is no obvious explanation for the LibDem decline. Is it just that the SNP is now “best buy” for the negative voter? Will they recover as polling day nears and voters focus on constituency arithmetic?

    The higher Conservative vote for Westminster I suspect is because people have been thinking in terms of two party alternate governments. The SNP is an irrelevance in that context and why should one vote for a candidate who doesn’t reallly want to be there?

    If the vote were reflecting the relative merits of the Scottish parliament and UK parliament Conservative leadership and record it would surely be the other way round. Most Scots would prefer not to live under a Conservative government, but if they had to do so I am sure they would prefer the SP team to the other.

  40. I expect to hear a lot more about tax cuts versus public expenditure on high-employment projects in the coming months.

    Well done, Wales, btw, re Ford.

    Will Cameron propose more tax cuts to boost the consumer economy, and identify which capital projects he would cancel to pay for that?

    From what I can gather, the expert economists (oxymoron?) are insisting money would be better diverted to private individuals via tax cuts than spent by Government.

    I have a feeling the voters would disagree with that, and that’s why Cameron is being a bit coy about exactly what he would do, or even what he thinks Brown should do.

  41. The Inland Revenue have no relationship with Holyrood. They only run a tax collection system for Westminster. It is already clear enough that they are unhappy at the thought that they might be required to act as a conduit for a Scottish tax possibly set at varying rates according to the requirements of each local authority.
    I still doubt that the IR will oblige the SNP unless it receives a clear political directive from Westminster. I say again -how likely is that?

  42. Nick,

    And since when have government departments dictated to elected politicians just what they will or will not do. The IR is a government department.

    Next you’ll be suggesting that if the UK Government agreed to abide by the outcome of a referendum the MOD might object and mobilise the Army.

    Peter.

  43. I read in the local paper that one Tory council wants to extend a golf course with council tax money, another appointed the daughter of the Tory Party chairman as its chief executive after advertising the job on YouTube and of course Suffolk County Council have England’s answer to Sarah Palin the wonderful Andrea Hill. Never mind Mr Osborne clueless regarding the real economy but a dab hand for deck quoits.
    PS If houses are coming down in price now led by the buy-to-let sector what will building thousands more to rent do to prices?

  44. Peter

    You’ve lost me old sport.To recap what I said was that ‘I still doubt that the IR will oblige the SNP unless it receives a clear directive from Westminister.’ Clearly the IR is not answerable to your administration in Holyrood or indeed to any other tier of government in the UK -by what powers can you or a council in say Birmingham ‘direct’ them to cooperate with your proposals especially in a case where the proposals may conflict with Westminster’s view?
    A copy of the e mail on the subject sent to the IR by one of John Swinney’s civil servants will I can assure you end up on Alistair Darling’s desk and it is HE in consultation with the Prime Minister who will give the IR the ‘steer’ they are looking for. Are you saying that won’t happen?

  45. Surely the Act setting up the Scottish Parliament empowered Scotland to vary income tax (by up to 3p in the £ IIRC). So there must already be a mechanism whereby the Scottish Government can ask HMRC to raise tax for it. I doubt that either HMRC or HMG have the authority to refuse a request from Scotland.

  46. The scotland act allows the Scottish parliament to alter the system of Local taxation if it wishes. If the government in Westminster decides to order the IR not to coopertae in can, but it would of course be politically explosive to do so.

    It would be saying to Scots that even if the Scottish Government is willing to pay the costs the Uk government won’t let the public agaency that already administers their tax do it.

    There really is no reason for it to do so other than bloody mindedness as the arguments about giving private information to the Scottish Government doesn’t bare scrutiny as the information would remain with the IR as information does at the moment.

    Peter.

  47. Peter/Phil C

    The Inland Revenue have now issued a statement on the matter which says that they are not in consultation with Holyrood on this issue as the SNP have claimed. Further sources inside the IR have said that the whole idea of a LIT tax is unworkable from their point of view-see yesterday’s “Times” for details.I am not saying that these sources are right in what they say but that’s what they are saying!!!
    Since virtually all income from shares and interst bearing accounts are taxed at source these days many people don’t submit self assessment forms unless asked to do so by the IR and a quick check round my colleagues reveals that only those who have informed IR that they are also private landlords seem to be of much interest to them aand even then the IR only catch some of this group. And before you suggest that those people not submitting returns are small fry let me tell you that is most definately not the case. So I don’t see how the IR can give you the information you need to levy an equitable across the board LIT on unearned income.
    Finally it is not necessary for the IR to overtly refuse a request from Holyrood-far too saavy to do that- but merely as it did 12 months ago to continue hold any such request at arms length. In other words the IR are NOT GOING TO TAKE ANY ACTION and I cannot see them doing so unless HMG direct them to do so. But you will never know what HMG’s role in all this is because their finger prints will be untraceable. That’s how government works Peter and you of all people should know that.

  48. So Peter, correct me if I’m wrong, but surely the devolution act allowed Scotland to vary income tax by x%? Does it matter if this is spent on replacing Council Tax, or free haggis suppers for all Scots? In which case, why is there any question of HMRC or HMG refusing to remit a levied additional tax to Scotland?

    NK, if you receive income that either is not taxed, or taxed at the wrong amount, and you do not inform HMRC, then you are guilty of a criminal offence. Whether HMRC sends you a self assessment form or not is irrelevant. The clue is in the term “self assessment”, it is your responsibility to declare income to HMRC, not HMRC’s to ask you to do so.

    BTW it has been HMRC for a number of years, not IR, your arguments would be more valid if you were slightly up to date.

    However, I can see it does raise a problem with certainty – how is the Scottish Govt to work out how much an extra 3% tax would raise?

  49. Phil,

    The SNP’s proposal is for a 3% LIT on all non investment income over the basic tax threshold, although it might be altered to include unearned income by altering the self assessment form. As you say there would be the same obligation to declare your income accurately for tax purposes as there is now for UK taxation.

    The 3% tartan tax (as some call it) only applies to the basic rate between £5,225 and £34,800, where as the LIT will be leveled on income above £5,225.

    One of the problems with the +/-3% is that it doesn’t allow the parliament to raise (or cut) tax on the higher band or for that matter to alter tax thresholds.

    Equally the problem with Tavish Scotts call for a 2% tax in basic tax in Scotland is that with a tax threshold of £7,550 for over 65’s a pensioner couple witb an income of up to £15,000 could in fact recieve nothing while everyone earning over £39,000 would get about £700 each.

    Peter.

  50. Thanks, Peter, that clears it up – I assumed that the LIT would in fact be within the Scottish Parliament’s existing tax raising powers, but it seems that they were drafted with insufficient flexibility!

    Apologies (and to Nick) if those comments were a bit OTT, I obviously shouldn’t post when I’ve been to the pub.

    Agree with you, though, that HMRC as a Government Agency should stick to raising the tax it’s told to and not express opinions.

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