BORIS Johnson has again been accused of peddling falsehoods in Parliament after falsely claiming taxes are higher in Scotland than in the rest of the UK.

During an exchange with SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford on Wednesday, the Prime Minister repeated untrue claims that taxes are higher in Scotland than in any other part of the UK.

Blackford took the Tory leader to task over the dismal state of the UK economy, which is seeing inflation rocket as wages stagnate and growth slows.

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Brexit was contributing to the gathering financial storm, said Blackford, highlighting a report from the Resolution Foundation and the London School of Economics which shows Brexit was punishing workers by driving down wages and pushing up the rate of inflation.

He accused the Prime Minister of “wilfully” pushing the country into a recession.

Blackford said: “This morning’s report from the Resolution Foundation and the London School of Economics is the latest in a string of devastating reports on the outlook for the UK economy.

“But instead of reversing course, the Prime Minister is recklessly threatening a trade war at the worst possible time. Will he finally come to his senses and negotiate an economic agreement with the EU? Or is he going to wilfully push the UK into recession?”

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Earlier in the session, Blackford asked whether Johnson held himself responsible for “the fact that the United Kingdom is doing so much worse than our European neighbours”.

The Prime Minister responded: “Actually, I think the whole House knows, and the whole country knows we have got a global inflationary problem, but this government has the fiscal firepower to deal with it.

“And that is, I think, a benefit to the whole of the United Kingdom, including Scotland as we’ve seen throughout the pandemic, and I think it’s a matter of fact that taxes are actually highest of all in Scotland.”

Blackford replied bluntly: “That’s not true.”

It is not the first time the Prime Minister has used this line of attack, employing it in an interview with BBC Scotland in 2019.

An investigation by The Ferret at the time branded the claim “mostly false”, noting that while higher earners in Scotland did pay more in taxes, many Scots did not.

The consumer advocacy group Which?’s online tax calculator shows people on lower incomes will pay less in Scotland in the current financial year.

Someone making £17,000 in Scotland would pay £865.03 in income tax in a year, compared with someone on the same salary in rUK who would pay £886.

For those earning a salary of £27,000 per year, £2,882.07 would go to the taxman for a Scottish worker, compared with someone in England, who would pay £2886.

Those on higher salaries pay more in Scotland than they do in England, with those on a salary of £45,000 paying £6929.67 in Scottish income tax versus £6486 in rUK.

The SNP chair of the Holyrood finance committee Kennth Gibson rubbished Johnson's claims, saying Scotland had created "a fairer and more progressive tax system in Scotland which protects lower and middle earners while raising extra revenue to invest in public services to help the hardest pressed".

He added: "The majority of Scottish taxpayers – 54% – will pay less income tax in 2022-23 than they would if they lived elsewhere in the UK, for the fifth consecutive year. 

“Those living in Scotland continue to have access to a wider and better-funded range of free to access public services than in the rest of the UK – including universal free prescriptions and tuition fees. 

“And under the SNP average council tax bills are an average of £619 lower in Scotland than in England and people pay less, on average, on rail fares and water bills. 

“Meanwhile, last week’s Scottish Government paper refreshing the case for independence showed that resource rich Scotland is, under Westminster rule, lagging so far behind almost all of our European neighbours on a range of economic league tables.

“Many of our European neighbours are wealthier, fairer and happier than the UK, and they show what Scotland can achieve with the powers of independence.”