SCOTTISH Labour’s new leader has signalled he is ready to impose a raft of higher taxes on the better-off if he becomes First Minister.

Richard Leonard said he wanted a more progressive tax system to help the many not the few, and announced a Commission to consider a wealth tax, property value tax, land value tax, and reformed council tax.

He also said he wanted to bring buses and trains back under public ownership, and called for an end to a “master-servant relationship at work”.

At a joint event with UK leader Jeremy Corbyn in Glasgow, Mr Leonard said Scottish Labour had rediscovered its sense of unity and radicalism and would deliver “real change”.

He contrasted his party’s vigour with the “a decade of mediocrity and timidity” under the SNP, attacking the government for failing to use Holyrood’s tax powers to invest in public services.

The SNP said he had borrowed many of their policies.

Mr Leonard said he wanted to “reshape and recharge” the Holyrood party, just as Mr Corbyn had done at Westminster.

He said: “His principles, policies and integrity, along with the energy and passion of hundreds of thousands of new members, has breathed new life into our party. I pledge to do the same here in Scotland."

Besides a commission on tax, he announced an ambitious plan to set up a dozen policy reviews in the coming months.

These would include funding and powers for councils, housing, child health and welfare, further and higher education, climate change, public ownership, and an industrial strategy.

“These reviews will advance our mission to build a new economy, a new society with an expanded public realm. That means more ownership and more control for people in our economy.

“The people of Scotland deserve public services which are publicly owned and publicly accountable: our railways, our buses, energy and Scottish Water need to be taken back and remain in public ownership.”

He said his policy programme would be put before Scottish Labour’s next conference in Dundee in March for approval.

Asked later why he thought public ownership and tax were Labour’s best route to power at Holyrood, he said: “I think that the public are ahead of the politicians on the question of public ownership. I think that there is a long pent up demand, for example, for the ScotRail franchise to be under public ownership,” adding: “I think in the end it’s about fair taxation.”

He ducked a question on whether there should be an above-inflation public sector rise next year, saying it was up to staff and unions to strike their own deals with employers.

Mr Corbyn, whose relationship with Kezia Dugdale was often strained, said he wanted to work as closely as possible with her successor.

He also attacked last week’s Budget, saying Philip Hammond’s backsliding on the level of the National Living Wage would cost families £900 a year.

The Tories pledged to raise it to £9 an hour by 2020, but this has been lowered to £8.56.

Mr Corbyn said: “Now we know the price of Tory failure for the low paid. The lowest paid workers will be £900 per year worse off if 2020 than promised. That’s shocking and it’s completely unacceptable.”

He said that if Labour’s £10 an hour minimum wage was in place, the lowest paid workers would be £3000 per year better off in 2020 than under the latest Tory plan.

Both leaders paid tribute to Anas Sarwar, the defeated centrist candidate in the Scottish Labour leadership race, who was not present at the event.

SNP MSP Ivan McKee said: "Only the SNP is standing up to the Tories and demanding real action when it comes to ending austerity, giving workers a pay rise, stopping further brutal cuts to welfare and investing more in public services."

Glasgow Tory MSP Annie Wells called Mr Leonard’s speech “underwhelming”.

She said: “He can’t just say the word ‘change’ over and over again without detailing what that would mean or how it would be achieved. Labour’s lurch to the extreme left leaves the Scottish Conservatives as the only genuine alternative to the SNP in Scotland.”

Scottish Green MSP Patrick Harvie said the forthcoming Scottish Budget negotiations would be a “major test” for Mr Leonard and whether he would engage constructively.