HIGHER earning Scots will not receive George Osborne's Budget tax cut in full if the SNP returns to power after May's election.

Nicola Sturgeon announced the threshold for paying the 45p rate of income tax would rise with inflation to  £43,387 next year.

In the Budget last week, the Chancellor unveiled plans to raise it to £45,000 south of the Border, handing higher rate payers a cut worth several hundred pounds.

Ms Sturgeon said the higher rate would continue to rise by a maximum of inflation thought the next parliament, suggesting better paid Scots will pay £817 more in tax than those down south by the end of the decade.

However, the First Minister ruled out changes to the main 20p, 40p and 45p rates.

She warned hiking the additional rate from 45p to 50p risked reducing income as Scots earning over £150,000, who pay the rate, might move away.

Overall, the SNP's tax plans will generate an extra £120million in 2017/18, the year Holyrood is due to take control of income tax.

The figure is about a quarter of the extra revenue that would be generated by a 1p increase to all three rates, a move backed by Scottish Labour and the Lib Dems.

Ms Sturgeon said she wanted to "strike a balance" between protecting public services, tackling UK Government austerity and maintaining household incomes.