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4 February 2016

Low Paid to Get Pay Rise with SNP - Instead of Tax Rise with Labour

Budget Boost for Workers and Public Services

The Scottish budget will protect household incomes and deliver a pay rise for up to 51,400 low paid workers, local MSP Stewart Stevenson said today – rather than facing tax rises with Labour.

The draft budget will introduce a Living Wage of £8.25 for social care workers – giving thousands of low-paid workers, mainly women, a pay rise.

Household budgets will be protected by the continuation of the Council Tax freeze and by setting the Scottish Rate of Income Tax at 10p – meaning that income tax bills will not rise.

In contrast, Labour this week announced plans to hit 2.2 million basic rate taxpayers across Scotland – including almost half a million pensioners – with a tax hike.

The draft Budget was debated by the Scottish Parliament yesterday afternoon – with key pledges including a £500m rise in the NHS budget, the protection of the teacher-pupil ratio and the protection of the police budget.

Commenting, SNP MSP for Banffshire & Buchan Coast Stewart Stevenson said:

“In the context of continued Westminster cuts to Scotland’s budget, the SNP are proposing a very strong package that protects household incomes, increases wages for low-paid workers and continues investment in our public services.

“For the first time John Swinney has been able to set a Scottish Rate of Income Tax – and has rightly set it at 10p, meaning taxes on working people will not rise.

“In contrast Labour want to shift the burden of Tory austerity onto working people across the country – forcing people such as all newly-qualified nurses, teachers and police officers to effectively take a pay cut.

“The SNP will continue to do all we can to fight the impact of Tory austerity – and we will never ask ordinary workers to pay for Tory cuts.”
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