More than half of Scots support income tax rise, poll says

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More than half of the people in Scotland support plans to raise income tax, according to a poll.

The YouGov survey for The Times found that 54% back Scottish Government proposals for an increase, while 30% said they thought they would be "unfair".

Finance Secretary Derek Mackay has announced changes to the tax rates which would introduce two new bands and alter existing ones.

If passed, those earning above £26,000 would pay more than their counterparts in the rest of the UK from April, while Scots below that rate would pay less.

People in Scotland earning more than £33,000 would pay more than they do now, and those on more than £150,000 would pay extra.

Mr 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."

The Times said that when voters were asked about the "basic" plans - increasing taxes compared with the rest of the UK for those on £26,000 - 54% said they supported the move, 27% opposed and 19% did not know.

A total of 49% of respondents said they were fair, 30% said they were unfair and 21% did not know.

Labour claimed the poll supported its position on tax, which is to raise all income tax rates to pay for better public services.

Labour MSP James Kelly told The Times: "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.

"Poll after poll has shown Scots are willing to pay more tax to fund public services, instead Derek Mackay has tinkered around the edges and delivered a plan which will just mean more cuts."

Scottish Conservative finance spokesman Murdo Fraser told the newspaper: "Making Scotland the highest-taxed part of the UK won't just hit people in the pocket, it will damage the economy too."