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Scotland Sets Out Tax Policy Direction

by Robert Lee, Tax-News.com, London

09 September 2016


Scotland's SNP administration has published its Programme for Government for 2016-17, which sets out proposals for reforms to income tax, air passenger duty (APD), and council tax.

According to the Programme, over the next two years the Government will:

  • Announce at Budget 2017 plans to use Scotland's new additional income tax rate-setting powers, including measures to freeze the basic rate, guarantee increases in the personal tax-free allowance, and restrict the threshold for higher rate taxpayers to a maximum of inflation;
  • Legislate for a devolved tax to replace UK Air Passenger Duty in Scotland from April 2018, with a commitment to halve APD and abolish it when resources allow;
  • Reform the method for calculating the council tax rate for higher bands, introduce a Council Tax Reduction Scheme for low-income households in higher rate bands, and allow local authorities to increase council tax across all bands by a maximum of three percent;
  • Amend the business rates (property tax) regime, to further expand the Small Business Bonus Scheme from 2017; and
  • Pending the outcome of an ongoing consultation, set out Scotland's response to the UK Government's policy of an Apprenticeship Levy, to "develop a distinctly Scottish approach on the levy."

TAGS: tax | business | air passenger duty (APD) | property tax | United Kingdom | tax thresholds | tax rates | tax reform | inflation | individual income tax | Scotland

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