Why is it an is­sue?

The Herald on Sunday - - THE WEEK POLITICS -

THE row over the level of the higher in­come tax thresh­old is more po­lit­i­cal than eco­nomic.

Ac­cord­ing to of­fi­cial fig­ures, 2.2m adults – 47.9% of the to­tal – were ex­pected pay the ba­sic rate of tax in Scot­land this year. Around 2m peo­ple would pay noth­ing at all. Only 346,000 in­di­vid­u­als – around 8% – would pay the higher rate.

How­ever, while only 8% pay the 41% rate, the same group is likely to con­sti­tute a higher pro­por­tion of adults who turn out to vote. Peo­ple who are com­fort­able fi­nan­cially are more likely to take part in the demo­cratic process than the poor. This 8% co­hort, who will pay more in tax than mid­dle class pro­fes­sion­als in Eng­land, will be a key tar­get for the Tories as they try to win the next Holy­rood elec­tion.

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