Most Scots 'against tax hikes'

Less than one in 10 of those surveyed said the Scottish Parliament should impose higher income tax rates


Holyrood Palace and grounds, Scotland, Edinburgh. 	Building Exterior	Day	Grounds	Holyrood Palace	Lawn	Outdoors	Palace	Concept	Ca

Fewer than one in 10 Scots want MSPs to increase tax rates when new responsibilities for income tax are devolved to Holyrood, a new poll has found.

While 9% of those surveyed said the Scottish Parliament should impose higher income tax rates, just over a quarter (26%) want them to be cut, according to the study by Survation.

Two-fifths (42%) believe income tax levels should stay the same as in the rest of the UK, the research for the Scottish Daily Mail found, while the remainder of those questioned do not know.

Holyrood will get some limited powers over income tax from next April, while the Scotland Bill currently going through Westminster sets the transfer of more powers, giving MSPs the responsibility for setting tax rates and bands.

The legislation will see Scotland given a share of cash raised from VAT and will also give MSPs new powers over welfare, allowing them to create new benefits and top up existing payments.

In the run up to the general election, the SNP backed the restoration of the 50p top rate of income tax rate for those earning over £150,000.

But the poll found 31% of SNP supporters want income tax levels to be lowered when powers are devolved - more than twice the proportion (14%) who want rates to be increased.

Only 3% of Conservative supporters and 11% of Labour voters want income tax to be higher in Scotland, while 21% of Tory voters and 18% of Labour supporters said the charge should be lower north of the border.

A third of Scots (33%) want to see welfare spending in Scotland rise when powers over benefits are transferred to Holyrood, with SNP supporters most keen on such a move.

The poll found 45% of nationalist voters want welfare spending to be upped, compared to 30% of Labour supporters and 9% of Conservatives.

Survation questioned 1,084 Scots between July 3 and July 7 for the research.

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