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Most Scots back SNP's income tax changes, poll finds

Those earning £33,000 per year and above will pay more after the reforms.

By STV News

Published 18 Jan 2018.

More than half of Scots support the SNP's plans to raise income tax on higher earners to pay for public services, a poll has found.

The plans, proposed by the finance secretary Derek Mackay last month, will see Scots earning £33,000 and above pay more than they do now.

Research for the Times by YouGov found that 54% supported the proposal, while only a third opposed the reforms.

The finance secretary created two new tax bands and also altered the existing three, the first time a Scottish minister has done so since the system was devolved to Holyrood.

Mackay told The Times: "As this poll and others have shown, a majority of Scots support the SNP's progressive tax reforms that will allow us to invest in our schools and hospitals.

"The SNP is on the side of Scotland's taxpayers-ensuring that 70% pay less and that Scotland has the fairest taxed system in the UK."

A total of 49% of those polled said they found the new tax system fair, 30% said it was unfair and a further 21% did not know how they felt about the reforms.

Scottish Labour welcomed the polls findings and claimed it showed support for the party's policy of raising income tax on everyone earning more than the personal allowance.

The party's finance spokesman James Kelly said: "This confirms that Scots are in favour of a more progressive system of taxation, however the support for these proposals cannot be accurately considered at this time.

"That is because Derek Mackay's tax plan will not stop cuts to lifeline local services."

The Scottish Conservatives opposed any rise in taxes, and the party's finance spokesman Murdo Fraser told the Times: "Making Scotland the highest-taxed part of the UK won't just hit people in the pocket, it will damage the economy too."