SCOTTISH ministers have promised their Budget plans mean the majority of taxpayers in Scotland will pay less than they would in the rest of the UK.

MSPs are set to debate the Budget today, with the SNP, Labour and the Tories all split on how much to tax workers in Scotland. Holyrood took control over income tax rates and thresholds in 2016, but this is the first time ministers have proposed changing the basic rate of tax.

The SNP say their changes to the tax rates will mean no-one earning less than £33,000 will pay more tax and will lead to an increase in health spending of £400 million, and will allow the Government to lift the public sector pay cap.

Under their proposals, they would create a new tax band of 21p for those earning more than £24,000, and the higher rate of tax would be increased from 40p to 41p, and the top rate from 45p to 46p.

Scottish Government analysis says this means 55 per cent of Scottish taxpayers will pay less compared to the rest of the UK.

But higher earners will pay proportionately more. Under the SNP plans someone in Scotland earning £150,000 will pay £1774 more than someone earning the same amount in London. Anyone earning between £33,001 and £44,273 will also pay a little more, with those earning £33,000 paying an extra £70 a year, and those on £40,000 handing over an extra £140.

SNP MSP Ivan McKee said there was public support for the tax changes: “In the face of massive Westminster cuts, the Scottish Government is using its powers progressively to invest in our schools and our hospitals. Our tax proposals deliver both fairness and much needed investment – no wonder the public support them by two to one.”

Labour feel the SNP plans are too modest. Earlier this month they tried to derail the SNP’s Budget with a vote of no confidence at Holyrood.

They were ridiculed at that vote for not coming forward with tax plans of their own. Finance spokesman James Kelly said the party would take “adequate time” to come forward with proposals. Less than two weeks later, Richard Leonard’s party proposed a Scottish starter rate of 19p, and argued for pushing the income threshold for a 45p rate to over £60,000 instead of £150,000, and for a new 50p top rate for those earning more than £100,000.

Leonard said: “Labour is willing to ask the wealthiest few to pay more to benefit the many, and redistribute real economic power to local communities. The question now for other parties is do they agree with us?”

The Tories, however, have warned that higher taxes in Scotland than in the rest of the UK will damage the Scottish economy.

They also accused the SNP of abandoning their principals.

Yesterday, Ruth Davidson’s party released details of 20 times when senior SNP politicians had “extolled the virtues of cutting tax to help Scotland’s economy”.

That list included previous First Minister Alex Salmond arguing for a reduction in corporation tax, and former finance secretary John Swinney warning that increasing business rates here could place Scotland at “a competitive disadvantage”.

Tory MSP Murdo Fraser, the party’s Scottish finance spokesman, said: “The SNP used to never tire of talking about how tax cuts across various areas would help Scotland’s economy. But now that entire ethos has been dropped, and substituted with a drive to make Scotland the highest taxed part of the UK.”

Without a majority in the parliament, the SNP Government need the support of another party to get the Budget passed. While the Greens backed last year’s Budget, they have insisted they cannot support this year’s effort unless there is a real-terms rise in council funding.