Constituency MP for Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch East Stuart McDonald and local MSP Jamie Hepburn have slammed Labour’s tax hike on working people.
As the party’s proposals continue to unravel new analysis has shown that the hike could hit the incomes of thousands of even the lowest income workers in Cumbernauld and Kilsyth.
Labour announced last week they want to increase the basic rate of income tax for 2.2 million people in Scotland – including 500,000 pensioners. While Labour have claimed that those on incomes between £11,000 and £20,000 could apply for a rebate, they have failed to acknowledge that many people do not claim for benefits they are entitled to.
UK Government figures show that approximately one in three people entitled to claim for certain benefits do not claim them.
An estimated one million taxpayers in Scotland earn between £11,000 and £20,000. If this average level of uptake was maintained, around 350,000 people on low incomes nationwide would miss out on Labour’s rebate – including thousands in Cumbernauld and Kilsyth.
Commenting, Mr McDonald said:
“Last week the Resolution Foundation told us that even if Labour’s rebate plans are workable, they don’t make their planned tax hike any more progressive. The fact is Labour don’t have a clue how their plans would work or how many low-earners in Cumbernauld and Kilsyth would be hit.
“While the SNP want to give the lowest paid workers in Cumbernauld and Kilsyth a pay-rise, Labour want to give them a tax-rise – and Labour will have to answer to local workers for their regressive plans at the election in three months’ time.”
Mr Hepburn added:
“Since revealing their flagship policy of a tax hike for low-earners, Labour have claimed that their proposed rebate would protect the poorest workers.
“However, Labour have failed or refused to tell voters how this scheme would work, or how they could guarantee that the rebate gets to those who need it most.
“The reality is that Labour cannot guarantee that a single person in Cumbernauld and Kilsyth would claim or receive this £100, but if Labour ever got into power everyone locally would have to pay more taxes.
“These are not mere details, as Labour’s finance spokesperson has claimed, these are fundamental problems with their policy.