TAX hikes will be part of the mix in this week’s Scottish budget, an SNP minister has strongly hinted, saying there will be “progressive taxation.. to raise extra resources”.

SNP Social Justice Secretary Shona Robison said the Scottish Government would continue its policy of having “those with the broadest shoulders” paying more. 

It followed the general secretary of the Scottish Trades Union Congress, Roz Foyer, urging the Government to use its powers to raise an extra £1.3bn in tax next year.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney will set out the Scottish Government’s budget for 2023/24 at Holyrood on Thursday.

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He has warned soaring inflation, public sector pay demands, the cost of living crisis and limited borrowing powers have made it the toughest budget to fix under devolution.

Last year, the government froze the thresholds for the higher and top rates of income tax.

However there is growing speculation that higher tax rates may be introduced this year, with the STUC suggesting an extra 2p on the higher 41p and top 46p rates.

A new STUC paper has set out how the Scottish Government could raise £1.3billion extra in tax revenue in 2023/24 and £3.3bn extra a year in the longer term.

The Herald:

Speaking to BBC Scotland’s Sunday Show, Ms Foyer said the Scottish Government needed to deliver “radical action” to live up to its progressive claims.

“If we're going to have a fairer society. We've got to be prepared to tax, redistribute wealth, and pay for it,” she said. 

“We're going to have to have a grown-up conversation here as a society about fiscal powers and taxation. 

“And if the Scottish government claim to be a left-of-centre government, they're going to have to take some difficult decisions in the period ahead to protect ordinary working people from the onslaught that we're facing.”

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Ms Robison told the same programme: “We have changed our tax system to be much more progressive than that throughout the rest of the United Kingdom. But we are doing that within a very limited fixed budget with limited tax powers and limited borrowing powers.”

Saying the UK Government should provide more help, she added: “We will set out our tax position on Thursday and it will follow the progressive taxation that we already have done to raise those extra resources  - that those with the broader shoulders should pay more.

“Of course, we’ll continue to look at what more we can do around the taxation powers that we have.” 

The Scottish Government did not have the powers to mitigate “every single pressure for every single family”, she said.