LOWERING taxes for the highest earners would cost Scotland £1 billion, the SNP has claimed.
The party says calls to mimic the Westminster Government’s plans to cut taxes for the rich would cost the country £1bn over the next four years.
It comes as Derek Mackay prepares to set out his budget for the coming year at Holyrood on Wednesday.
SNP MSPs say the Conservatives have called for extra spending almost 100 times this year, but also demanded a reduction in taxes, which they say “doesn’t add up”.
Angela Constance, SNP MSP, said: “The Tories are trying to con voters by promising extra spending while handing high earners a tax cut – it just doesn’t add up.
“When challenged on the complete hypocrisy of this position, the best Jackson Carlaw could offer was the simply bizarre explanation that he would pay for an income tax cut by cutting business taxes.”
Finance Minister Mackay said he will rethink his current proposals if expert evidence shows they are causing high earners to shun Scotland in favour of England’s lower tax rate.
Meanwhile, Labour has called for a budget that will deliver “real change” to Scotland, with plans including stopping council cuts and offsetting the two-child cap for benefits.
They also want to see child benefit raised by £5 per week, and rail fares to be frozen.
James Kelly MSP said: “The time for tinkering at the edges is over. We need a real change of direction.”