MIDDLE class Scots could pay £1300 more income tax next year than their counterparts in England, according to new research by the Scottish Parliament.

The analysis found everyone earning more than £26,250 is likely to be worse off north of the border, even if the thresholds for all Scottish income tax bands rise by inflation in 2019/20.

The work was prompted by Chancellor Philip Hammond increasing the threshold for the upper 40p rate of income to £50,000 next year in England.

At present, the threshold in Scotland is £43,430 and the rate in 41p.

Mr Hammond’s decision has widened the cross-border tax gap affecting the better off, and led to Scottish Tory calls for SNP Finance Secretary Derek Mackay to follow suit.

However both Mr Mackay and Nicola Sturgeon have rejected the calls, saying they will set out a more “progressive” path in the draft Scottish budget on December 12.

The First Minister said the Tory tax cuts were “shameful”, as they would enrich the wealthy.

The Holyrood research said one key budget change - raising the personal allowance to £12,500 - would see Scottish taxpayers £70 better off next year.

However “beyond this, everything will depend on what the Scottish Government proposes”.

It said if all Scottish thresholds were raised by inflation, it would mean all those earning up to £26,250 should pay slightly less income tax than in the rest of the UK.

“However, for all those earning more than this level, their income tax bill in Scotland would be higher than in the rest of the UK.”

It also said that if Mr Mackay tried to match the £50,000 higher rate threshold set in England, it would cost £410m, money which would be unavailable for public services.

The final outcome will depend on the detail of the budget and the subsequent political deal struck by the SNP with at least one other party to pass the budget in February.

The Scottish Greens have supported the last two budgets, but this year they have said they will not enter talks without a major concession on local authority tax powers.

Tory MSP Murdo Fraser said the research showed there was now “a clear and noticeable gulf for thousands of people in Scotland” in relation to their tax bills.

He said: “This isn’t the elite we’re talking about – it’s a significant disadvantage for senior teachers, nurses and police officers.

“It will reinforce Scotland’s reputation as a high-tax country, and one which punishes aspiration and drives away wealth.

“It could also have a major impact on public sector recruitment, as we have already seen in relation to headteachers’ concerns.

“Derek Mackay should reflect on those things before delivering his budget next month.”

A Scottish Government spokesman said: "More than two-thirds of taxpayers will pay less on their current income this year under Scotland’s new tax bands, and low earning taxpayers are protected through the introduction of a new Starter Rate of tax.

“Taxpayers in Scotland also benefit from a range of services not available in England, such as free prescriptions and free university tuition.  

“The paper shows that if we were to match the higher rate threshold in the rest of the UK, this would lead to significantly less revenue available to invest in public services and the Scottish economy.”