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New tax powers coming to the Scottish Parliament

Staff Writer | November 30, 2016
St Andrew's Day sees a major milestone in the transfer of £12 billion worth of income tax powers from Westminster to Holyrood under the Scotland Act 2016.
Scottish Parliament
Britain   The UK Government will make the formal orders
The UK Government will make the formal Parliamentary orders which confirm that landmark new income tax powers will transfer to the Scottish Parliament.

As a result, from April next year, Holyrood will control income tax rates and thresholds.

The move, on St Andrew’s Day, comes two years on from the publication of the Smith Commission’s report which, in the wake of the 2014 independence referendum, recommended which powers should transfer to Holyrood from Westminster.

The Scotland Act 2016 took forward the report’s recommendation in full.

From 6 April 2017, Holyrood will have the power to set income tax rates (currently 20%, 40% and 45%), and set income tax thresholds (currently £11k, £42.7k and £150k - from 5 April 2017 in the rest of the UK these will be £11.5k (rising to £12.5k by 2020), £43k (rising to £50k by 2020) and £150k).

The transfer of powers comes after last week’s Autumn Statement, in which the UK Government boosted the Scottish Government’s budget by more than £800 million through to 2020/21, giving it spending power to boost productivity and promote growth in Scotland, all while supported by the broad shoulders of the UK.