Letters to the Editor

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Economy

Examine the impact of taxes

Sir, – It is interesting to note claims by the Scottish Conservatives and various commentators that Scotland will become the “highest taxed part of the UK” due to it not replicating the UK Treasury’s tax cut for higher earners. This means that those taxpayers in this bracket will pay an extra £314 more than those in the rest of the UK (December 16).

It should be remembered however that this relates only to income tax and when it comes to other taxes Scotland fares considerably more favourably than the rest of the UK. For example, Average Band D Council Tax in England is £1,530, compared with £1,149 north of the border. While the average water and sewerage charge in England is £389, in Scotland it is £351.

In addition to this, what tends to be forgotten are Tory “stealth tax” proposals, including prescription charges and university tuition fees. Prescription charges, currently £8.40 in England, are highly regressive and a tax on the sick, and the imposition of university fees of £6,000 would see a graduate on an average full-time salary paying 4p more in tax on every pound.

In Scotland, Air Passenger Duty is also set to be cut by the end of this parliamentary term and business rates have also been cut.

The key issue here is not just to examine income tax alone, but to look at what impact the burden of all taxes is. When one looks at the bigger picture it is clear that it is the Conservatives whose “stealth taxes” would become deeply damaging economically and it is more than little disingenuous to describe Scotland as the highest tax part of the UK. – Yours, etc.,

Alex Orr

Leamington Terrace

Edinburgh

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