Dugdale: we choose to use our powers

Scottish Labour will today set out a bold plan to avoid SNP cuts to local budgets and our children’s education, and invest in the future.

In her most significant intervention to date as Scottish Labour Leader, Kezia Dugdale will say the SNP government should use the new powers available to Holyrood today to set an 11p Scottish rate of income tax in the budget for 2016/17 – 1p higher than that proposed by George Osborne and John Swinney.

The draft budget set out by the SNP government for the next year proposes cuts of hundreds of millions of pounds to the funding for local councils, which will have devastating consequences for education and local public services.

Independent expert analysis confirms Scottish Labour’s proposal will raise almost half a billion pounds every year. This will raise the resources needed to avoid the SNP’s planned cuts to education and other vital local public services.

Significantly, it will also allow something to be given back to low income workers.

Under Scottish Labour’s plan to invest in the future, taxpayers earning less than £20,000 will receive a £100 annual boost to their income, through a payment scheme administered by local authorities.

This will mean 810,000 workers in Scotland will not lose a single penny, and workers on the National Minimum Wage will be £81 better off. In total one in five Scottish workers will be better off under Scottish Labour’s plan.

Meanwhile someone on a salary of around £30,000 a year will pay approximately £4 a week extra, and someone on the same £144,687 wage as the First Minister will pay an extra £28 a week (£1,447 a year).

Kezia Dugdale is expected to say:

“Given the choice between using our powers or making cuts to our children’s future, we choose to use our powers.

We will tear up this SNP budget that simply manages Tory cuts and instead use the power we have to set the Scottish rate of income tax one pence higher than the rate set by George Osborne. This will provide an extra half a billion pounds a year to invest in the future.

We don’t do this because we want to use the powers for their own sake. We do it because there is no other alternative to cutting into our nation’s future.”

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49 thoughts on “Dugdale: we choose to use our powers

  1. At last, somebody states the obvious. We can’t transform public services in Scotland by tinkering at the edges.

    This policy will mean that those earning more will have to pay a wee bit more tax to protect essential public services.

    1. Yeah, sure it was you on the radio this morning stating that the Scottish budget has been cut only by around 3% since 2008 and in that time council budgets have been cut by 6%….

      Odd statement since even Duncan here agrees that the Scottish Government budget (DEL has been cut by 10% in the past 5 years alone……

      So a 10 % cut to DEL
      English councils halfway through a 40% cut
      and Scottish Labour squeal about a 3.6% cut this year (having faced only 6% cuts over 8 years by your reckoning)

      Labours solution? Rather than share the pain that they helped inflict by voting for the Fiscal Responsibility Charter in January 2015…..is to tax every hard working Scot that they can…to ensure they don’t have to act responsibly….

      and continue to, in some areas award over estimated contracts to their pals, take backhanders and spend huge sums pedestrianising areas that don’t need it….all the while protecting bloated management structures at council level….

      Tell you what, if Labour councils show more responsibility and tighten their belts within council structures to protect frontline services, I’ll pay a penny more in tax….because I’ll know the councils are being responsible

      1. This is not the forum to discuss radio phone-in shows. Nonetheless, I was talking about the settlement since 2008 – your response is not.

        1. Not the forum to discuss you erroneous statements on radio phone in shows?

          My comment was
          Yeah, sure it was you on the radio this morning stating that the Scottish budget has been cut only by around 3% since 2008 and in that time council budgets have been cut by 6%….

          yet in actual fact there has been a cut by 10% in the past 5 years….therefore by simple arithmetic your comment

          I was talking about the settlement since 2008
          cannot possibly be a cut of around only 3% as you pointed out on radio to all those lovely innocent listeners

          or are we using Labourithemitic?

        2. 10% cut to DEL Scottish Government draft budget and Fiscal Affairs Scotland

          3% cut to Scottish Government budget since 2008 (disputed) – You

          6% cut to Local authority budgets in that time (uncontested as yet) – You

          I’ll accept your 65 cut at face value for the moment as it is not necessary to make the point

          any further forward with your Labourithmetic 3% cut yet?

          1. You didn’t quote the period of the DEL cut. I wonder why.

            3.5% cut to local government this year. Fact.

        3. Dear Duncan

          “You didn’t quote the period of the DEL cut. I wonder why.

          3.5% cut to local government this year. Fact.”

          think you will find if you read carefully

          I did

          1. Is that Nope to reading carefully?

            or Nope to the fact I did mention it was a 5 year period?

            from the first of my replies to Dr Scott, a direct quote….

            “Odd statement since even Duncan here agrees that the Scottish Government budget (DEL has been cut by 10% in the past 5 years alone……”

            can you see it?

          2. I was replying to the immediately previous comment, in which you set out the number of years of each of the cuts EXCEPT the one it was handy not to.

          3. “I was replying to the immediately previous comment, in which you set out the number of years of each of the cuts EXCEPT the one it was handy not to.

            Since I had already outlined the term of the cuts as five years, there was no need to repeat myself,

            So , you retract the statement or do you struggle to hold the line of a thread?

    2. Finally Labour admits what we’ve always known they plan to raise our tax burden even higher. Their answer to every problem of their own creation.

      Rather than gaining more funding by altering our spending commitments they continue down the line of squeezing the electorate for every penny they can.

      They could alternatively abolish Trident and save 160 billion over 10 years. They could stop warmongering and save as yet unknown billions. This would also have a knock on effect on the amount of refugees the UK ends up taking in at cost.
      They could abolish the house of Lords and save us again unknown billions.

      All extra taxation does is reduce consumption and spending. How on earth is that supposed to help any economy?

      Labour the answer to nothing but more financial misery.

      1. Abolishing Trident saves nothing from the defence budget. The £160bn cost is a 40 year projection, not 10. If you’re arguing for a cut in defence spending, say so, but the SNP aren’t.

        1. The defence budget is an allocation of public funding Duncan. That’s 160 billion that wont have to go on defence. And it is a 10 year spending commitment not 40 as the so called Trident upgrade doesn’t have a life expectancy of 40 years.

          You cant measure the costs over 40 year periods because you cant account for the level of inflation.

          Ludicrous as usual.

          1. The £160 billion is a 40 year projection, Mike. It might not suit you to accept that, but it happens to be a fact.

            If you are arguing for the defence budget to be cut by £160bn over the next ten years, you are putting tens of thousands of service men and women out of a job and leaving our country under-protected. I don’t think any party would back that position. The SNP certainly don’t.

            Ludicrous is your continuing lack of grasp on reality.

    3. “I’ll definitely considered giving Labour my vote again.”

      This is the part that fails to convince anybody that Drew is a wayward ex Labour voter who was desperately waiting for Labour to announce they would raise his tax burden before he would allow himself to come back into the fold.

      Its not so much the dishonesty that’s galling its the level of stupidity its presented with. Its an insult to our intelligence.

      1. Whether you believe it or not Mike is up to you. I have voted a combination of either SNP or Labour for my entire adult life for various different reasons. More recently I have voted SNP and voted Yes in the referendum.

        However I believe it is time we are all honest in Scotland to admit that there is a problem with the public finances. Scotland currently pays less in tax than the current levels of public expenditure are here. You can deny that if you want but even the Scottish Government knows it. Their failure to be honest about Scotland’s financial position is one of the reasons I think they lost the referendum.

        The only way to tackle that problem is either raising taxes or cutting expenditure. This is an issue regardless of whether we are independent or not. Personally I would be prepared to take a slight tax rise if it means less cuts to public services.

        But at least Labour are prepared to kick off an honest debate about tax and whether we need to raise it or not. This will be a good thing because we shall see what appetite there is for raising taxes is in Scotland. If you are right and the public have no appetite here for tax rises, then the SNP will win comfortably.

        I still want independence but I personally think it is doubtful the UK Government will ever grant another independence referendum. If it does it will be 20-30 years time probably. But if there is a 2nd indy ref, the SNP will have to learn from it’s mistakes from the first one.

        1. personally think it is doubtful the UK Government will ever grant another independence referendum.

          We do not need the UK Governments permission to hold a referendum, nor do we need one.

          The UK supreme court has no power to overturn any bill or legislation passed by majority at Holyrood, neither does Wesminster.

          Westminster also cannot impose any legislation, without the express consent of Holyrood, that is why the Scotland Bill went back for revision several times despite being heralded as “Smith in Full” each time, Holyrood sent it back as unacceptible…..similarly with the Fiscal Framenwork that underpins it…..

          When we wish to hold another referendum …..we will do so

          1. Perhaps but that would be up to the lawyers to decide. Which could mean years of costly potential legal wrangles.

            But you don’t have to look too far to see an example of a country blocking an independence movement’s right to hold a referendum, namely Spain. What’s the outcome? No referendum. And what of the international community’s response? Nada. Turn the other cheek.

            While Spain has a written constitution that prevents any autonomous community breaking away without a two thirds majority amending the constitution, the UK Government would no doubt argue in court they previously granted an independence referendum and got a clear result that wasn’t widely disputed.

        2. No legal wrangling…..it has been set as precedent in the supreme court already…

          Spain is irrelevant as they do not have the same conditions as set out by the Treaty of Union

          1. Okay, so assuming Holyrood went ahead and held its own referendum without Westminster’s consent. There is a high turnout and yes wins 65% of the vote. And Westminster turns round and says the referendum was illegal and won’t dissolve the Treaty of Union. Then what? UDI?

        3. …..”. And Westminster turns round and says the referendum was illegal and won’t dissolve the Treaty of Union. Then what? UDI?”

          Two sides sign a treaty…..the power to dissolve it doesn’t sit with Westminster alone….

          If that situation occurs what happens next will depend on circumstances…The Scottish Government at that time will have the power to do both…..should it wish to exercise that power,

          how it decides its course very much will depend on the mood of the 65%

        4. “However I believe it is time we are all honest in Scotland to admit that there is a problem with the public finances. Scotland currently pays less in tax than the current levels of public expenditure are here.”

          See right there with every stupid bare face lie you mark yourself as Labour.

          I keep making this point because it is irrefutable. Under Labour and the Conservatives we have lost most of our public services to the private sector yet our taxation burden has increased exponentially way above the rate of inflation over the same period. Now that means less public expenditure coupled with massive increases in revenues.

          We pay more and get less. That is not management that is deliberate party political agenda driven ideological CORRUPTION! And your advocating for even more.

          Labour to the core.

          1. Mike, even the Scottish Government’s own figures show Scotland brings in less tax than our current spending levels. http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2015/03/1422

            This is itself doesn’t mean Scotland can’t be independent because most countries run annual deficits. The UK has run deficits for the last 13 years in a row, even before the financial crisis and has only made 6 budget surpluses in the last 40 years. No one questions the UK’s ability to be an independent country.

            The crucial factor is whether the deficits and borrowing are within manageable levels. At present Scotland’s deficit is around 10% of GDP which is too high. We need to get it closer to at least 5% but ideally closer to 3%.

  2. This is fantastic news and a courageous move by Scottish Labour. Finally voters will have a genuine choice at the election and we’ll finally find out if voters in Scotland are prepared to pay extra in tax to protect services. It is a risky strategy because back in 1999 the SNP’s ‘penny for Scotland’ campaign to raise taxes saw them beaten comprehensively but part of that could have been down to the popularity of New Labour at the time.

    At worst, this will kick start a proper and grown up debate around tax. I’ll definitely considered giving Labour my vote again. For too long the parties in Scotland have been running scared of the main challenge facing us, namely, we don’t currently pay enough tax to cover the costs of current public expenditure in Scotland.

    My only disappointment is think how much more Scottish Labour could do if they wanted even more powers transferred to Holyrood. But this lack of ambition aside, it is a positive move in the right direction.

    1. Sorry Drew, but labour voted against every amendment to increase powers to Scotland within the scottish bill by choice.

      Still to want to increase council tax and income tax at the same time, should give the voting public something to ponder.

      1. That’s a lie, Davy. Labour did not vote against every amendment to increase powers to the Scottish Parliament.

        In fact, Labour created the Scottish Parliament, helped write and voted for the 2012 Scotland Act which devolved further powers, and amended the current Scotland Bill in increase powers.

        You are allowed your own opinions but you aren’t allowed your own facts.

        1. And here’s one of Dunckys ploys to try and confuse the facts, except Duncan knows very well that just a few months back the westminster Mp’s had a debate over the new scottish bill put forward by the Smith commision and a good number of amendments was put forward by the SNP party to try and improve the powers in the bill for the benefit of Scotland.

          And as Duncan knows, as this is very well known, most of the unionist MP’s did not even bother to listen to the debate, instead when the bell rang to vote for or against one of the amendements all the unionist MP’s trouped out of the bars and had a great laugh voting against each and every amendment without having a clue what they were about.

          Now as their is only one scottish labour MP, it kind of shows the rest of Scotland exactly what the main labour party thinks of our country.

          I wonder what Duncans opinion is about that ?

        2. Duncan

          If Labour supports Devo more or the Smith commission recommendations or Devo Max as promised in the broken vow then why did we only get Devo bare faced absolutely minimum in 1999?

          Is it not true that Labour wont deliver a single worthwhile policy unless they are forced to?

          For example the Scottish Parliament was delivered because the EU put pressure on the Labour Government to devolve power from Westminster.

  3. It’s good that Labour have set out their stall on this issue. I’m not sure the Scottish public are quite ready to accept a hike in taxes to, effectively, maintain the status quo.

    The main problem I can see with the implementation of this policy is the addition of the £100 rebate. At least the LDs plan to raise the tax rate is a simple hike that will have no repercussions other than taking money of those who cannot avoid it … all to maintain the status quo. Labour’s rebate plan could see a snowballing of In Work Benefit payments being withdrawn from the low paid by Westminster.

    If someone is in receipt of these payments, it is likely any Labour rebate would be taken into account as income and the benefit would be reduced. If Labour then moved to mitigate that clawback with another payment, Westminster could reduce their benefits further. It is highly possible the low paid will see no benefit financially from this while the Scottish govt will have relieved Westminster of 100s of millions of pounds of benefit payments, wiping out much of the gains of raising the tax in the first place.

    1. It will be pure entertainment watching Labour and their pet media spin tax hikes as something worth voting for though.

    2. The £160 billion is a 40 year projection,

      Moronic! You cannot predict inflation with any credible accuracy over 10 years let alone 40 so what you’re telling us is that the 160 billion figure is a figment of somebodies imagination and its more likely to be closer to 300 billion or more in 40 years time.

      Or you’re telling porkies again.

    3. Duncan as usual you are bare face lying your arse off. Scapping Trident will result in no more than 512 job losses half of which are contractors. That from an FOI request given to anti nuclear groups.

      And in what way is our country protected by WMDs? Iraq was invaded because our leaders thought they had WMDs remember?

  4. Lets not forget that this rise in income tax will be supplemented by more above the rate of inflation rises in local council tax on top as Labour councils are given the power to milk their burghs for every penny they can squeeze us for.

    Well now we officially know what we are voting for. I’m starting to wonder if Labour will get any lists seats never mind constituencies.

      1. Well “Scott”, do you think anyone forgets the red tories contribution to #ProjectFear, or that sad attempt at reverse psychology.

          1. Red Tories voted with the blue tories on the CBR in Jan 2015 passing it by 512 to 18

            the CBR means £30bn of cuts/tax rises….Labour never promised to recover the £30bn in tax rises alone and admitted they would be ruthless with the budget and cut as well as raise tax

          2. No matter how often to repeat that lie, it doesn’t become true. The vote for the CBR was not a vote for cuts.

          3. “No matter how often to repeat that lie, it doesn’t become true. The vote for the CBR was not a vote for cuts.”

            and we go round the mulberry bush again….OK

            I state the fact that labour voted for the cuts as part of the Fiscal Responsibility Charter…
            You call me a liar
            I cite the OBR, confirmed by the BBC
            I cite Hansard
            Showing Labour did vote for the Charter in January of this year as was outlined in the parliamentary debate prior to the vote. where the £30bn of cuts was repeatedly stated
            Note clearly the section at the head of the article stating ” Division No. 129 Ayes 512 Noes 18″
            If Labour did not vote for the division then how was the figure of 512 achievable?
            Now……you can try to argue with Hansard if you like

            You say “Ha Ha” but it also says tax rises

            and I say, yes it does but Ed Balls state there would be cuts, Chukka Umuna slapped Jim Murphy down for his “no cuts in Scotland” fantasy and Ed Milliband stated himself there would be cuts

            either way the tories said they’ll use the Charter for cuts, Labour knew thats what would happen, and agreed they would cut too, and voted for the charter….so its a moot point

            then you fall silent…

            We can have this conversation as many times as you like….you’ll keep running into the same verifiable facts…

            Labour voted for the cuts and now want to make up the difference by taxing us….

          4. I’d appreciate it if you didn’t copy and paste comments. You’ve made this point, and I’ve responded to it. If I give up responding to the same copy and pasted comment it’s not because you’re right, it’s because you’re boring.

          5. you tend to repeat yourself and cutting and pasting saves wasting time dealing with your same, repeated false statement…..

            first you say Labour didn’t vote for the cuts..

            I respond…..showing the did using Hansard and the BBC

            You say….it doesn’t matter the CBR wasn’t a vote for cuts…

            I show that it was, quoting Ed Balls, Chukka Ummuna and Ed Milliband stating categoracally there will be cuts, since £30bn is needed and a £30bn tax rise equates to almost £800 per working person, which labour never said they would do

            Labour repeatedly said there will be some tax rises, but definite cuts

            ergo….Labour voted for cuts….

            If you do not wish to rinse and repeat the same comments you have to come up with evidence to the contrary, rather than “Naw we didnae” ipse dixit.

            Repeating the same wrong statement in the face of direct contradictory evidence from your own party shows either a lack of understanding or a lack of something else

            You say…the CBR wasn’t a vote for cuts….prove it ( you will also have to prove my evidence showing it was is also wrong)

            good luck

      2. Project Fear was a pack of bare faced lies that you participated in with relish. Labour have now openly admitted they intend to increase income tax and local council taxation as well and absolutely that makes Labour bad in fact it makes them fucking despicable.

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