Why is it an issue?
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.