first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to LinkedInLinkedInLinkedInA Budget for growth and reformSwinney announces £500 million boost for NHS and freezes Income Tax and Council Tax. Deputy First Minister John Swinney has announced tax proposals for 2016-17.As part of the Scottish Government’s 2016-17 Draft Budget delivered to Parliament this afternoon, the Finance Secretary has proposed:A 10p Scottish Rate of Income Tax, meaning the rates paid by Scottish residents stay the sameLand and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT) maintained at current levels, thus ensuring 93 per cent of home buyers either pay less than under UK stamp duty land tax (SDLT) or pay no tax at allA LBTT ‘second-homes’ supplement on purchases of additional residential properties, including buy-to-let propertiesScottish Landfill Tax of £84.40 per tonne at standard rate and £2.65 per tonne at lower rate.The Scottish Rate of Income Tax has been set for the first time today, as the last of three tax powers devolved to the Scottish Parliament under the Scotland Act 2012.The proposals mean the total rate of income tax paid by people living in Scotland remains the same, while maintaining the amount of tax paid by home buyers at current levels will ensure that those purchasing properties worth £330,000 or less will pay less tax than under UK stamp duty, or no tax at all – representing over 93 per cent of home buyers in 2016-17.The Deputy First Minister has described the proposed tax rates as “the best package possible with severely restricted powers” and pledged that the Scottish Government “will not penalise the poorest taxpayers”.Mr Swinney said:“Where we have the freedom to shape a taxation system that is fair and proportionate to the ability to pay, we have created a tax system that is progressive and helps those who most need it.“I have today also proposed the first Scottish Rate of Income Tax and setting a 10p rate means that there is no change to the overall tax rates paid by Scottish taxpayers.“The income tax powers we currently have do not allow us to make income tax fairer, and I will not penalise the poorest taxpayers. This is the best decision possible with severely restricted powers.”The proposed LBTT supplement on purchases of additional residential properties, such as buy-to-let or second homes follows the new surcharge proposed by the UK Government in last month’s Spending Review. The proposed supplement is three percentage points of the total price of the property for all relevant transactions above £40,000 and will be levied in addition to the current LBTT rates.The Deputy First Minister said:“Our objective is to make sure that first time buyers have the greatest possible chance to enter the housing market.“We are therefore taking action to avoid the likely distortions which will arise in Scotland from the new UK SDLT surcharge on the purchase of additional properties – including buy-to-let and second homes – which could make it more attractive to invest in such properties in Scotland compared to other parts of the UK.“Our LBTT additional homes supplement therefore seeks to ensure that the opportunities for first time buyers to enter the housing market in Scotland remain as strong as they possibly can. The proposed additional levy of three percentage points on transactions over £40,000 is proportionate and fair.”As of next April, the rates of UK income tax paid by Scottish residents will be reduced by 10p and in its place the Scottish Parliament will set a Scottish Rate of Income Tax.The power to set SRIT was devolved as part of the Scotland Act 2012, but it is a limited power which allows for only one rate to be set which must apply equally to all bands. It also does not allow for the Scottish Parliament to make any changes to the UK thresholds for basic, higher or additional bands.The Scottish Rate, the LBTT supplement and the remainder of the Budget are subject to the approval of Parliament and will become payable from April 2016. Swinney: “I will not penalise the poorest taxpayers”.center_img In a budget that will promote growth in the economy and reform public services, Deputy First Minister John Swinney today (Wednesday) announced an injection of an additional half a billion pounds for health boards, taking total spending to a record of nearly £13 billion.And, to support the most significant reform since the foundation of the NHS, Mr Swinney announced £250 million for the integration of health and social care, ushering in a fundamental realignment of the way the NHS and Local Government deliver care.Mr Swinney also set the Scottish Rate of Income Tax (SRIT) for the first time and, in a move designed to protect the poorest taxpayers, the Deputy First Minister froze income tax by proposing a rate of ten pence. This means total income tax rates remain unchanged.To protect household budgets already hit by UK Government austerity, the Budget proposes the 9th successive freeze in Council Tax – a saving of £1,500 for an average band D household.Mr Swinney also announced he is protecting the Small Business Bonus – sheltering around 100,000 small firms from business rates – and investing in the future economic health of the nation through £345 million for research and innovation and £1 billion of investment in higher education. In order to support this investment, he announced he is asking Scotland’s biggest businesses to pay more by increasing the Large Business Supplement.Deputy First Minister John Swinney said:“The spending plans that I am announcing today will equip the country for the future and lay the foundations for the reforms that will define the next parliament – reforms that will reshape our health and social care services, deliver a step change in educational attainment, deliver a fairer system of local taxation and use new powers over tax and welfare in a way that supports our central purpose.“This Budget is driven by two themes: supporting inclusive growth and protecting and reforming public services. We will deliver inclusive growth by focusing on investment in innovation, infrastructure, education and skills, and by maintaining a competitive business environment.“And we will protect and reform public services by delivering on the Christie Commission approach of service integration at local level, prevention and improving outcomes for individuals.“The current financial landscape presents us with a challenge and a choice. Scotland can meekly accept these UK Government cuts or we can rise to the challenge and chose a Scottish alternative to austerity. We choose to rise to the challenge. We choose the Scottish alternative. We choose to put reform and growth at the heart of this Budget.”last_img