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Unfair tax system is fuelling Scotland's inequality

THREE-QUARTERS of Scots think taxes should be raised for those with the highest incomes and wealth.

The Ipsos MORI survey, conducted on behalf of Oxfam, showed more than half of all Scots – 52 % – feel the present tax system is not fair compared with 37% who believe it is fair.

Among those who think the wider system of taxation is unfair are 61% of the country's richest people.

Those working part-time (57%), those not in work (61%) and those living in the most deprived parts of the country (61%) are also more likely to be critical of the tax system.

The findings came as the Scottish Tories said they may fight the next Holyrood election on a pledge to cut the basic rate of income tax by at least 2p.

Under the new Scotland Act, the Scottish Parliament will be responsible for raising a portion of basic rate income tax from 2016.

The head of Oxfam Scotland, Judith Robertson, said: "This survey shows Scots want a fairer system. At the moment, the poorest Scots are taxed more heavily than the richest. In 2010/11, the poorest fifth of people paid around 38.2% of their income in tax – the richest fifth paid 33.6%.

"Without a robust and progressive tax system we can't deliver the public services people need, nor can we tackle growing inequality."

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