Cutting financial ties with UK could cost Scots workers an 8p in the pound tax hike, claim Tories


CUTTING all financial ties with the UK would result in a 8p income tax hike to maintain public finances, according to the Scottish Tories.

The party based its claim on the Government Expenditure and Revenue Scotland (GERS) report which showed the fiscal deficit in Scotland is now at 8.1% compared with 5.6% for the UK.

Around £54bn was collected north of the border in tax compared with spending of more than £66bn.

Nicola Sturgeon speaks at Glasgow University
The Tories claim First Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s independence plans could cost Scottish workers dearly


Plugging the gap – described as a “black hole” – by the Tories could require an 8p in the pound income tax hike for every worker.

Other options would involve significant spending cuts or vastly increased borrowing.

Scottish Conservative finance spokesman Gavin Brown said: “The main point to take from this is, as part of the UK, Scotland is part of a family where everyone puts in and shares the proceeds.

“That security was jeopardised last September, and it’s the SNP’s sole, stated aim to jeopardise it again in May.

“The SNP wants full fiscal autonomy, and as we can see from these figures that would mean absolute chaos for Scotland’s finances.

“The figures next year are expected to be far more challenging as they will take into account the oil price crash.

“Thankfully, we’ve got a situation where Scotland benefits from what it puts into the UK.

“That means everyone is more secure than if we were all separate countries.”