Scotland politics

Calls for tax reform as Scottish 'rich get richer'

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The income of people who earn more than £150,000 a year has increased by 89% under the Conservative government, according to official figures.

Scottish Labour highlighted HM Revenue and Customs data which shows the total income of this group has gone up from £3.7bn in 2010/11 to £7bn in 2015/16.

The party has called for reform of the income tax system.

The Scottish government said it has used its tax powers to create "a fairer and more progressive" system.

The figures also showed the total income of those earning under £20,000 a year has risen by 1.8% in the same period.

Scottish Labour urged the Scottish government to make bold moves to tax the rich, accusing it of "timid tinkering" with its tax powers.

'Biggest burden'

Labour finance spokesman James Kelly said: "It's time for real change, not just more of the same: a more equal Scotland where the broadest shoulders bear the biggest burden.

"The income of Scotland's super rich is soaring - but the SNP's income tax changes tinkered around the edges, putting only a penny on the top rate.

"The impact of that is cuts to public services and squeezed living standards for working class people in Scotland, with over 400,000 people in Scotland earning less than the living wage."

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A spokesman for Finance and Economy Secretary Derek Mackay said: "Using the tax powers available to the Scottish government we have created a fairer and more progressive income tax system, which will deliver an additional £1.2bn over the next five years to invest in public services.

"Labour's incompetent budget and tax alternative would be counterproductive and actually generate less tax money from the highest earners. Our system gets the balance right, and delivers more investment for services, not less.

"The main risks to Scotland's future prosperity are continued Westminster austerity and the huge threat posed by the Tories' shambolic Brexit plans, taking us out of the customs union and the single market, which is around eight times bigger than the UK market alone."

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