Media and politics

By Alexander Garden, chair of the CIOT's Scottish Technical Committee

This article was originally published in the Thunderer column of the Times (Scottish edition) and can be viewed here.

Since its publication, both the Conservatives and Labour have said that, if elected, they will publish a UK Budget in February 2020.

One unintended casualty of Britain’s Brexit impasse has been Scotland’s budget process. In recent years a November budget at Westminster would be followed by Holyrood’s in December. Then there would be two to three months of parliamentary scrutiny before it became law for the start of the new tax year in April.

The political parties in Northern Ireland have published their respective manifestos ahead of next week’s UK General Election 2019. Tax relevant passages are summarised below.

The news that the Trump administration is threatening France with 100 per cent duties on certain goods and services following France’s introduction of a Digital Services Tax (DST) has given rise to a great deal of comment, much of it around the timing of the announcement and the politics behind the move. 

As we enter the final run-up to polling day, we have pulled together a helpful spreadsheet to enable you to compare the tax policies of the main parties contesting the General Election in Scotland, England and Wales.

The 2019 CIOT/ATT tax tracker allows you to see proposals from the Conservatives, Labour, SNP, Liberal Democrats, Greens, Brexit Party and Plaid Cymru.

This week also saw Plaid Cymru and the Brexit Party set out their pledges to voters, with extra powers for Wales and the scrapping of Inheritance Tax their respective headline tax measures.

Scotland’s political parties have been setting out how their approaches to tax and dropping hints on what we may see at the next Scottish Parliament elections in 18 months’ time.

There was not much love for the government’s Digital Services Tax (DST) at the latest CIOT/Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) debate.

The Conservative Party have published their general election manifesto, promising not to raise the rates of income tax, National Insurance or VAT in the next Parliament.

The Labour Party has published its ‘Fair Tax Programme’, promising to raise more than £6 billion a year with measures including an Offshore Property Company Levy, scrapping non-dom status and trebling the number of audits carried out by HMRC.

The Conservatives have not yet published their election manifesto. There are rumours it will be published on Sunday. But the party has revealed a number of elements of its tax plans this week.