Labour’s candidate in Shetland, Robina Barton, has described her party’s policy of a 1p rise in Scottish basic income tax as “bold”, but perhaps on reflection many will see it as the “last roll of the dice” for a struggling Scottish Labour.
A similar policy has already been announced in the run-up to the May election by the Scottish Liberal Democrats, but so far Tavish Scott has shown only a measure of faint praise for the idea.
Looking further back into history, the originators of a “penny for Scotland” are of course the SNP, and their deputy first minister John Swinney no less.
Their own electoral logic has led them to blast the proposal as unworkable, yet once more they remain suspiciously silent as to their own plans for the extensive powers devolved under a Conservative government via the Scotland Act.
Let’s be clear, the result of Labour policy will be to raise taxes for 70 per cent of Scottish taxpayers. I can be clearer still on the Scottish Conservative response: a Scottish government led by Ruth Davidson will not raise income taxes out of step with the rest of the United Kingdom and damage Scottish economic competitiveness.
Our package of proposals would put the Scottish economy first and foremost, and my commitment would be to developing the Shetland economy, conscious of the fact that a stronger, faster-growing economy is the best base for allowing revenues to grow.
Scottish Conservative candidate for Shetland, Holyrood 2016