The Scottish National Party (SNP) launched their election manifesto on Monday April 20th. Key proposals include the reintroduction of the 50p top rate of tax; a tax on bankers' bonuses; a bank levy; a mansion tax; a crackdown on tax avoidance and the abolition of non-dom status.
These are the party's pledges by area of tax:
Employment & Income tax
The SNP will vote for the reintroduction of the 50 pence top tax rate for those earning more than £150,000. They would also call on the UK government to move forward cautiously with plans to increase the higher rate threshold to £50,000, ensuring first that tax revenues are sufficiently buoyant.
The party supports increases in the personal tax allowance but will also back an increase in the Work Allowance of 20 per cent.
The SNP are also in favour of a banker’s bonus tax.
Families, Tax Credits & Pensions
The SNP will seek to reverse the married couple’s tax allowance. The party will oppose plans for further cuts in Child Benefit and Tax Credits.
They will support lower energy bills for consumers by pushing for the Energy Company Obligation to be funded through general taxation and not as a levy on energy bills.
For low-income households, the SNP backs an increase of at least the cost of living in welfare benefits, such as child benefit, universal credit and disability benefits, and also in tax credits.
The party will seek a review of the pension tax relief available to the wealthiest. They will support a single-tier pension of £160 per week and vote to continue the triple lock, guaranteeing that pensions will always rise by inflation, earnings or 2.5 per cent - whichever is the highest.
Finally, they will retain the winter fuel allowance.
The SNP support the creation of a Creative Content Fund for the games industry to encourage the formation of new studios, and they also back the retention of the Video Games tax relief.
The party will back industry calls for an increase in the SEIS investment limit and changes to the Shortage Occupation List to recognise specific skills needs in the sector.
The SNP support proposals for a specific tax on properties valued at over £2 million.
Levies & Duties
The SNP support a levy on tobacco firms and an increase to the bank levy.
Avoidance & Evasion
The SNP will back measures to tackle tax avoidance, including early legislation to address tax dodging and an increase in staff resources at HMRC.
The party willl put forward measures to strengthen anti-avoidance law across the UK to ensure it is as strong as new Scottish legislation.
They will also support a review of controlled foreign companies exemptions and favour a rolling review of tax reliefs as part of an ongoing programme of simplification of the tax system.
The party support calls for a global fair tax summit to agree international measures to tackle tax abuses and is also calling for the abolition of the 'non-dom' status.
The SNP will demand that VAT on sanitary products is removed.
The SNP is seeking to deliver the most competitive business tax environment anywhere in the UK through their business rates policies, and the package of business rates reliefs worth an estimated £618 million in 2015-16.
The party remains committed to a Treasury review of alcohol taxation to better reflect alcohol content, while securing health benefits through minimum pricing.
The SNP have stated that the Smith Commission proposals were, in many respects, a missed opportunity.
The party is seeking greater ability to generate economic growth, deliver more employment opportunities and support family incomes with the devolution of additional taxes.
The party has stated that it would use targeted changes in business tax allowances to encourage higher levels of investment in capital or Research & Development, and encourage the growth of SMEs.
In the meantime, the SNP will prioritise devolution of powers over employment policy, including the minimum wage, welfare, business taxes, national insurance and equality policy.
For further information see
SNP Mnifesto 2015
Analysis of other party manifestos will follow.
The CIOT is of course strictly politically neutral and nothing in these posts should beinterpreted as endorsement for or opposition to any of the policies mentioned.
CIOT External Relations Officer
Friday 01 May 2015