Letter: 55 per cent of Scots pay less tax

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Sir,

It has been striking to note key sections of the media and opposition politicians heralding the fact those paying higher taxes through the Scottish budget will be packing up their estate cars and heading south.

Let us, however, put some perspective on this.

The fact that someone on £45,000 is paying an additional £2.50 more per week than their counterparts south of the border, or even someone on £150,000 paying an additional £51 a week, is not going to create a mass exodus of middle and higher-rate taxpayers.

The proposals also mean everyone earning under £27,000 in Scotland, about 55 per cent of taxpayers, will pay less income tax than those on the same salary elsewhere in the UK.

Those who will pay these moderate tax increases are the same people who enjoy considerable universal benefits not enjoyed by those south of the border.

These include free prescription charges, £8.80 in England, eye tests £20-£25 in England, university education £9,500 per year in England, elderly bus passes and elderly care.

With house prices lower in Scotland and a better quality of living and public services, these limited tax increases, for the services obtained, provide excellent value for money.

Far from being driven away, this progressive budget, delivering better public services, will attract people here.

It is more palatable and attractive to work in a better-funded health and education system than one which is under-funded.

There is no magic money tree. In a decent society, where the poor are given the chance to prosper, there is investm created, it needs finance.

The progressive tax system in the Scottish budget does just that.

Alex Orr, Flat 2, 77 Leamington Terrace, Edinburgh.