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28 August 2017, 05:31
Labour has renewed calls for the Scottish Government to introduce a 50p top rate of tax, as new analysis predicts those eligible to pay it have almost doubled since 2010.
Labour's analysis of HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) data shows that the number of individual Additional Rate taxpayers in Scotland, those with a total taxable income over £150,000, is projected to increase by 91% between 2010-11 and 2017-18, rising from 11,000 to 21, 000.
Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale said: "Labour supports a 50p top rate of tax because we think the richest should pay their fair share.
"It can't be right that levels of working poverty are at their highest since the Scottish Parliament was established, but the SNP still won't ask the richest to pay a little more in tax."
She added: "Labour's plan for a fairer Scotland means investing more in our public services, increasing child benefit to lift tens of thousands of children out of poverty, and stimulating economic growth through investment, not more cuts.
"The SNP's refusal to tax the richest a little more means the poorest are being hit the hardest. Scotland can be a fairer and better place - it just needs a government willing to use the powers to stop the cuts and invest instead."
SNP MSP Ash Denham said: "The SNP's position is very clear: we back a 50p top rate of tax across the UK, but to do it in Scotland alone with our current powers could risk losing millions of pounds in revenues given the possibility of cross-border tax avoidance .
"That would mean less money for vital public services - but we have also made clear we will keep the situation under review."
She said her party is "making taxation fairer" with the powers it currently has and said the SNP's tax policies "mean there is more money to pay for schools, hospitals and other public services".