Jo Swinson has backed new plans proposed by the Liberal Democrats to cut income tax by 2p in Scotland.
Today’s headline debate from the Lib Dem party conference in Bournemouth saw the party approve a radical new set of policy proposals called Make It Happen. During the debate, Jo spoke in favour of the Lib Dems maintaing the flexibilty to cut taxes in future, with party leader Nick Clegg having already announced his intention to slash income tax at UK level by 4p.
Under the rules of the existing devolution settlement, the Scottish Parliament has limited powers to raise or lower income tax.
“When I knock on doors in East Dunbartonshire, the issue that comes up, time and time again, is the cost of living. People are struggling with rising food prices, more to pay at the petrol pump and inflation-busting energy bills. Government can’t change world food or oil prices, but it can reduce the burden of taxation on hard-pressed individuals and families.
“Cutting 2p from income tax would put £330 back into the pocket of the average Scottish earner. By rooting out government waste and misdirected resources, savings can be found that will allow the burden to be eased on taxpayers, while protecting vital services like schools and hospitals. The Scottish 2p proposal can be implemented under existing powers and will make a real difference straightaway.
“Difficult times call for strong political leadership. This proposal is the kind of effective, immediate action that the public expect, but that Labour at Westminster and the SNP at Holyrood are failing to deliver.
“Alongside this proposal, I remain committed to abolishing the unfair council tax and replacing it with a local income tax, based on people’s ability to pay.”