Tax rises ‘put in­vest­ment at risk’

Scottish Daily Mail - - News - By Michael Black­ley Scottish Po­lit­i­cal Ed­i­tor

TAX rises forced through by the Scottish Gov­ern­ment will put in­vest­ment in Scot­land at risk, the UK Trade Pol­icy Min­is­ter has warned.

Greg Hands said he fears mak­ing Scot­land the high­est taxed part of the UK will lead to in­vestors putting their money else­where.

He made the com­ments as the Board of Trade met in Stir­ling to un­veil a scheme to at­tract more than £2bil­lion of in­vest­ment to Scottish com­pa­nies.

Last month, a ‘tax gap’ opened up be­tween Scot­land and the rest of the UK af­ter the SNP’s de­ci­sion to force Scots earn­ing £26,000 or above to pay more than those south of the Border.

Mr Hands said: ‘Scot­land now di­verg­ing on tax is not help­ful for the Scottish econ­omy and doesn’t send the right mes­sage to foreign in­vestors.

‘Foreign in­vestors are look­ing for low rates of tax, com­pet­i­tive rates of tax. If the Scottish Gov­ern­ment has cho­sen to have higher rates of tax, that is un­likely to make Scot­land more at­trac­tive to foreign in­vestors.’

Mr Hands also urged the Scottish Gov­ern­ment to get back around the ta­ble to dis­cuss the EU With­drawal Bill, and warned that Holy­rood’s de­ci­sion to refuse to back the leg­is­la­tion could cause un­cer­tainty which ‘can have an ef­fect on things like trade’.

Chan­cel­lor Philip Ham­mond was also in Scot­land yes­ter­day to meet fi­nan­cial ser­vices firms in Ed­in­burgh, which he de­scribed as ‘world-lead­ing’.

He said: ‘Over a mil­lion peo­ple across the coun­try are em­ployed in our fi­nan­cial ser­vices sec­tor.

‘It fu­els growth across the re­gions and is a vi­brant part of our econ­omy.’

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.