Mackay: Scottish Government is ‘progressive on taxation’

Derek MacKay
Derek MacKay

Finance Secretary Derek Mackay has promised the Scottish Government will be “progressive on taxation” as “more tax powers come on stream”.

Mr Mackay, addressing the Scottish National Party’s annual conference in Glasgow, said the Land and Buildings Transaction Tax had “made the prospect of buying a home much more affordable for first time buyers”.

He added: “Similarly, we have reformed the council tax to make it fairer and on business rates, we have not only made the system more progressive by exempting 100,000 properties from rates, but we have also taken steps to ensure that it is the most competitive rates package in the UK giving Scottish business a significant advantage.”

Mr Mackay confirmed that the government has commissioned the Scottish Land Commission to “research the introduction of a Land Value Tax”.

He also said that a “discussion paper on income tax” would be brought forward to “lead an informed debate on how we best use the new powers to build a tax system that meets the needs of the country”.

Mr Mackay said: “Taxation isn’t a toy – it has an impact on people’s lives and their choices and as a government we take that responsibility very seriously.

“As part of this process, and recognising that Holyrood is a Parliament of minorities, I wrote to all the party leaders asking them to set out their tax proposals for inclusion in this paper.”

However, he said that only Willie Rennie, leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats, and Patrick Harvie, co-convener of the Scottish Green Party, had responded.

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