Iain Gray reveals plans to close the attainment gap

Every school in Scotland will receive funding to close the gap between the richest and the rest under plans unveiled by Scottish Labour.

Scottish Labour has published the estimated allocation each primary school would receive through its Fair Start Fund. Every primary school in the country would receive £1,000 for each pupil from a deprived background. It would be for head teachers to decide how this money is spent to close the gap between the richest and the rest. This would be paid for by increasing the top rate of tax for those earning more than £150,000 to 50p using the new powers coming to Scotland. This money is over and above the Scottish Government’s existing attainment fund.

Schools in Glasgow would receive almost £12 million. Those in North Lanarkshire would be allocated almost £5 million and schools in Fife would receive an estimated £6 million. A full list of the estimated allocation for each local authority is below and a full list for individual schools is attached.

New figures released by Scottish Labour on Friday revealed that at least 1,500 schools in Scotland, and one third of local councils across the country, don’t receive any funding through the SNP Government’s Attainment Challenge Fund.

Scottish Labour Opportunity Spokesman Iain Gray said:

“We need to close the gap between the richest and the rest in Scotland. For too many children how much money their parents have determines how far they get on in life, rather than their potential and ambition. That has to change.

Under the SNP’s plans more than 1,500 schools in Scotland get no extra support to close the gap between the richest and the rest. With half a billion pounds of cuts to local services like our schools coming from the SNP Government’s budget, there is a real risk that pupils already at a disadvantage will get left even further behind.

A Scottish Labour Government would ask those lucky enough to earn over £150,000 a year to pay a little bit more in tax so we can create a Fair Start Fund to invest in our young people. It’ll mean £1,000 of extra funding for every pupil from the poorest background, and we’ll give the money directly to head teachers, who know how to spend the money better than a minister sitting in Edinburgh.

After nearly a decade in power and a majority in parliament there are no excuses for the SNP not to be using the new powers coming to Scotland to build a fairer future for our young people.”

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18 thoughts on “Iain Gray reveals plans to close the attainment gap

  1. Sounds good, I’m sure extra money for schools who’s pupils perhaps have more complex requirements would be welcome. Two questions:

    1. The article says that it would be funded by increasing the tax rate to 50p for earnings over £150,000. Would this funding use all of those extra funds from changing the tax rate, or would there still be money left over for other things?

    2. The article states ” A full list of the estimated allocation for each local authority is below and a full list for individual schools is attached.” I don’t see anything? I am guessing it was copy and pasted from somewhere – is there a link to the original where we can see these estimates?

  2. Gray has a reasonable ambition, but his calculations seem somewhat askew.
    He simply cannot raise enough money from the proposed increase in top rate tax to pay for his scheme. I don’t see figures of the total cost, bu have seen estimates of the tax take at about £8 million+- a few million.
    This is on top of Scottish Labours proposed spends on Local government(£500 million), Health services(more nurses, doctors, hospitals, full pay for all etc)other education and child care, full living wages for all, reorganising police(again), propping up oil and gas, nationalising steel, nationalising rail and all the rest, house building in the thousands etc etc
    Jackie Baillie, on her own, has promised the moon, with free stars to anyone who wants it.

  3. Was wondering why Ian Murray was on the telly on Sunday reviving the whole £60- £120 million pound revenue from a new 50p tax hike…

    Slight problem that the Labour leader is well aware of ( in her interview not 3 months ago )

    Is the 50p tax rate going to be in her manifesto? (Mandy Rhodes)
    “The 50p tax is absolutely going to be in our manifesto.” (Kez Dugdale)
    How much will that bring? (Mandy Rhodes)
    “Up to £100 million. But bluntly, Mandy, it could also raise zero because of the mechanisms by which people can avoid paying tax so it is up to £100 million (Kez Dugdale)

    couple that with the IFS stating it would raise £100m across the whole UK

    http://www.ifs.org.uk/publications/7066

    Perhaps the best evidence we have at present is that produced by HMRC, and signed off by the Office for Budget Responsibility, in 2012. This suggested that cutting the 50p rate to 45p could reduce revenues by about £3.5 billion in 2015–16 if there was no change in behaviour by affected individuals. However, once one allows for behavioural response, their central estimate was a cost of just £100 million – a very small amount of money. The best available estimate of what reversing the cut would raise is therefore about £100 million too.

    leaving around only £8m for Scotland if they don’t flip their tax affairs over the border..

    Uncosted Pie in the Sky as usual from Branch Office Labour

  4. So Labour don’t actually have a plan to close the attainment gap. They have simply dreamed up a sum of money from nowhere, with the intention of handing it over to Head Teachers and passing the buck to them … no actual ideas.

    I say this as the powers coming to Holyrood will not allow the increase in the highest tax rate without also raising the level of all other rates by the same amount. And, apart from the fact they will not have the power to do this, the take from it could be as low as zero, according to Scottish Labour Leader Kezia Dugdale, and about £8m tops according to HMRC.

    Scottish Labour continue to give us more and more evidence of why they are now irrelevant to serious political discourse.

    1. Did you miss the magic show on telly?
      What you do is to think of a number—a big number is helpful, between 10,000 and a million.
      Then double it and add a couple of zero’s to the end.
      Now multiply it by your age, take away 3 and there you have it.
      Call it in “millions” and that is Scottish Labour’s fiscal solution.
      Easy!

      1. No it’s better than that…..

        the (Labour) logic runs not cutting APD will generate an extra £250 million to be allocated else where….

        If that’s true then why don’t we decide to not cut the entire Scottish budget…that should generate an extra £30 bn……add that to the £30 bn we already get and hey presto we’ve doubled our money….

        In fact if we decide not to cut the budget 10 times that’s an extra £300bn ….problem sorted!

        Why not decide to “not cut” the budget as many times as needed to Pay of the UK sovereign debt, refinance the Eurozone, set up a benevolent World Bank and solve world hunger?

        Why not…..from small acorns – oak trees grow!

        Well Magic ones anyway

        1. Labour logic actually says Scot Gov is budgeting to lose £250m from cutting APD, therefore not cutting it means you retain that £250m.

          It’s entirely reasonable, despite the frantic and pitiful attempts by people like you to present it otherwise.

          1. But Mr Hothersall, Labour want to spend MORE money, not just maintain spending levels. Where is that MORE money going to come from. The magical money tree is not an answer that will go down well with the electorate. It will have to mean quite drastic cuts somewhere … but where? Labour are good at telling people where they’ll increase spending but deafeningly silent on where they are going to cut it. Maybe its hefty tax rises … but the 50p higher rate wheeze could apparently raise zero (according to Kezia) while the electorate are unlikely to enjoy the extra tax they will pay when the 20p goes up (as it has to) in line with it. That would probably pay for Labour’s promises but it is not what we are being told.

          2. I can’t work out whether you’re playing the daft laddie or just are one. I’m veering towards the latter though.

          3. Someone should tell Sarah boyack…

            “Using the money set aside by the SNP to make airline tickets a bit cheaper we would ……..Designed to increase international routes, John Swinney’s £250m flagship policy will be an ineffective, dangerous waste of funds”

            and Jackie Baillie

            “The SNP Government want to use the new powers on a £250 million plan to make airline tickets a bit cheaper. John Swinney has said he can’t yet find the money to help working families, but he can guarantee £250 million to cut the price of an airline ticket. Scottish Labour think that’s not the right priority, so we would use that funding instead to restore the money lost through tax credit cuts to working families. – See more at: http://www.scottishlabour.org.uk/blog/entry/its-time-for-the-snp-to-stop-the-grievance-and-start-governing#sthash.LJJbwWhy.dpuf

            since the cut would lose £250m as you point out….some of your Labour Colleagues are being a bit disingenuous implying the Scottish Government has a lose £250m lying around to “fund” a tax cut then implying the £250 that is there will be spent on labour goodies…..

            Gordon Brewer tried to pin Jackie down and got this live on tv

            “Okay, in the case of Air Passenger Duty, let me explain that. If you take a tax cut, you’re going to have to find the money that you would have brought in, in order to carry on with delivering the services that you’re gonna deliver. By finding that money you release it, that we can reallocate for a different purpose.

            So making a tax cut allows you to “find money” (apparently) from an unspecified area…….now if you know how it works and are interested in politics you can kind of cut through the BS…but to the average punter – magic money

          4. Good grief. No, making a tax cut means you have to find that money from somewhere else, it doesn’t allow you to find the money.

            Learn to read. The APD policy is simple and sensible and gives Scottish Labour £250m to spend that the SNP would not have.

    2. Doesn’t help when they present targets like this……..

      shooting ducks in a barrell is more difficult

  5. Ring ring, hello !, Kezia its Iain yeh yeh elmer then, I was wondering if you had finished with the APD yet, I may have another project to use it on.

    What’s the project? Oh education / attainment , what do you mean it has already been used on education, bugger and double bugger, well I suppose it’s back to raising top rate tax again. Bye bye Media.

  6. “Good grief. No, making a tax cut means you have to find that money from somewhere else, it doesn’t allow you to find the money.

    Learn to read. The APD policy is simple and sensible and gives Scottish Labour £250m to spend that the SNP would not have.” Duncan……you should really google more
    These are not my words Duncan
    the comment below you refer to is none other than……..(drumroll)
    Okay, in the case of Air Passenger Duty, let me explain that. If you take a tax cut, you’re going to have to find the money that you would have brought in, in order to carry on with delivering the services that you’re gonna deliver. By finding that money you release it, that we can reallocate for a different purpose.

    (badoom tiss) Jackie Bailie, (you may have heard of her) she’s a member of the Shadow Cabinet

    a member of the Finance Committee (a basic ability to count is needed) no less, and…….ironically enough Labour spokesperson for Public Services and …….(you couldn’t make this up) Wealth Creation

    1. I know. HER comment made sense. YOUR comment didn’t.

      Again, I urge you to invest in reading lessons.

      1. So to make a tax cut you need to find the money to make it?
        Or simply reduce your budget to account for lost revenue, which is how it works..

        Jackie stated that to make a cut….you’ll find the money to make it and then spend it elsewhere…….where from? The back of the sofa?

        A trite brush of explains nothing an generally indicates you have no real response to labours finding money because you look for it excuse

  7. “The ADP…….gives Labour £250million….the SNP wouldn’t have”.
    Eh, no it doesn’t. It doesn’t give the a brass penny. The SNP will have to find that money from their budget. So will Labour.

    If you truly believe otherwise, I have a bridge I’m selling cheap. You interested?

  8. This attainment gap thing again.

    We are at war in 3 countries. Our Soldiers are dying or being maimed for life. Its costing billions a year. The entire Western world is under a refugee crises situation mostly created or at least exacerbated by the deliberate warmongering of the US and UK.

    We are suffering under ideologically imposed targeted austerity from an extremist right wing fascist Government in Westminster going unopposed by the so called Labour opposition in Parliament.

    There is a concerted effort by right wing extremists in the UK to pull us out of the EU which has a very real chance of succeeding.

    Our Government and main opposition party wants to spend over 160 billion on worthless unusable weapons of mass destruction.

    Most of the country is under a strict wage freeze low pay below the rate of inflation pay rise agenda.

    The House of Lords has been exposed for harbouring nurturing and protecting a ring of organised paedophiles who may even have murdered children to protect their secret.

    The Chancer or the Exchequer wants to raid our pension fund while simultaneously force us to work 5 more years in order to qualify for the paltry maximum weekly pension of 115.95.

    Our entire welfare and benefit system is under deliberate attack from the same right wing fascist government in Westminster to the extent that their policies are directly killing people through malnutrition and exposure.

    Our public services are being deliberately ideologically eroded in order to make rich Corporations and individuals richer and the rest of us poorer by increasing our spending obligations added to an increasing taxation burden to pay for the services we no longer have.

    All of this and Labour in collusion with their media puppets fill the pages of our daily tabloids with nothing but meaningless non existent attainment gap failures and made up false accusations of scandal and general SNP Bad bullshit.

    People actually voted No for this.

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