SNP members have backed a resolution to increase the tax threshold so that people earning below the living wage do not forfeit any of their income.

Delegates at the party’s conference in Aberdeen voted in favour of a motion stating the tax system “should be fair to all, and that no-one should pay until they can afford to, and all who can afford to should pay a fair share”.

The motion, brought forward by the SNP’s Dingwall and District Branch, stated that the “burden of the cost-of-living crisis is falling most heavily on those least able to bear it”.

“It is right that those least able to cope receive support,” it went on.

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It suggested that in order to address this, those earning below the living wage should be lifted out of paying income tax.

The starting point for all tax bands would then rise in line with changes to the living wage to “maintain the fairness of the system”.

The motion stated: “In addition the tax threshold in subsequent years should continue to rise in line with changes to the living wage.

“Furthermore, Conference resolves that the starting point for all tax bands should also rise in line with changes to the living wage to address fiscal drag, to maintain the fairness of the system.”

It added: “The details of how this is achieved should be at the discretion of Scottish Ministers and shall not restrict their ability to make other, non-revenue neutral, adjustments to the tax code as they see fit.”

Moving the resolution, Peter Cairns said: “The resolution links the living wage – set independently of Government – to the cost of living. As the cost of living rises, so does the tax-free amount.

“Presently, tax thresholds are set by Government without any regard to the cost of living. This changes that.”

He added: “Who dares to say that those who pay no tax don’t make a contribution? Parents, carers, thousands of part-time workers – they make a huge contribution to society.

“Look around this hall. Look around this conference. The amount of people here who are helping, aiding and caring for others. Who dare say they make no contribution just because they don’t pay a lot of tax?”

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Speaking to journalists after the motion was passed, Deputy First Minister John Swinney (above) said: “The party has taken its conference decision about these points and obviously the government will reflect on those issues.”

Swinney, who is in control of Scotland’s finances while Finance Secretary Kate Forbes is on maternity leave, added: “We believe in progressive taxation, we believe there needs to be essentially a relationship between people’s income and their contribution towards taxation.

“But we also believe in fiscal sustainability around our public services so we have to make careful judgments to balance out the extent of the tax burden and where that falls and the ability to afford public services of a level that we would want to have in place.”