Derek Mackay, Finance Secretary for Scotland, has delivered Scotland’s draft Budget, outlining a range of changes to both taxation and finance.
Marking the first Scottish Budget since Holyrood gained a series of new tax powers from Westminster, Mr Mackay revealed that the basic rate of income tax will be frozen, whilst the 40% higher rate of income tax will start at £43,430.
This differentiates the Scottish rate from Britain’s higher rate: in the rest of the UK, the higher rate threshold will rise to £45,000 from 6 April 2017.
Commenting on the change, he stated: ‘This government is committed to a principles-based approach to taxation, particularly that tax should be proportionate to the ability to pay.’
In other announcements, the Finance Secretary outlined the expansion of the Small Business Bonus Scheme, which will be achieved by raising the eligibility threshold for 100% relief to a rateable value of £15,000.
In addition, £3 million will be invested in minimising rail fare increases, whilst £60 million will be spent as part of a plan to expand childcare and early learning to 1,140 hours per year.