The National:

YOU might think the Scottish Conservatives had learned some humility when it came to commenting on tax policy after demanding the SNP follow Liz Truss in offering handouts to the richest.

Look at where that got her. Booted out of No 10 by her own party after less than 50 days, having left a £30 billion hole in the UK’s finances.

But no. Brazen as ever, the Tories are now out there raging about the increases in tax for Scotland’s highest earners, announced by John Swinney in Thursday’s Budget.

The SNP minister announced that the higher rate and top rate of income tax would each go up by one percentage point, with the threshold for those paying the top rate lowered from £150,000 to £125,140.

The higher rate threshold remains unchanged, kicking in after the first £43,663 of annual income.

The National:

Just 11% of Scots are expected to fall into the higher bracket in 2023/2024, and just 1% into the top bracket.

And even then, not all of them will be paying much more than elsewhere in the UK.

Analysis from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland shows that anyone earning £45,000 a year in Scotland can expect to pay just £452 more in tax per year than their equivalent in England. For people earning £40,000, they’ll pay just £122 more.

Anyone earning the median Scottish full-time salary of £31,672 can expect to pay somewhere in the region of £30 more than an English colleague. A small price to pay for services such as free higher education or free prescriptions, you could argue.

But for the Tories, asking the wealthier portion of society to pay more is unforgivable.

Scottish Conservative finance spokesperson Liz Smith “condemned” the tax rises in one press release.

The Scottish Government “could have found this money elsewhere”, she said, handily forgetting to explain exactly where.

“The SNP have mismanaged the Scottish economy and the Scottish tax system. And now 1.4 million Scots are paying the price,” Scottish Tory chairman Craig Hoy fumed on Twitter.

But what if we flip that impotent rage?

While it’s true enough that around 1.4 million people in Scotland will be paying more tax than if they lived in England, a similar number will be paying LESS.

And the people paying less will be the people on lower incomes, the people to whom a couple of extra pounds here or there make a massive difference.

The National:

Some 251,000 of us will pay the basic rate of 19% on earnings up to £14,732, which is one point lower than the 20% they’d pay in England.

A further 1.129 million Scots fall into the “basic” rate of income tax, up to £25,688. All of these people will be paying less tax than they would in England.

And even as we enter the intermediate income tax rate (which runs from £25,689 to £43,662 and encompasses some 920,000 of us), a fair chunk of people would still pay less than they would in England.

It is only once earnings reach £27,850 that Scottish taxpayers begin to pay the same as they would in England.

Taxes such as this, which take higher percentages from the highest earners and lower percentages from lower earners, are known as “progressive” taxes.

That the Tories stand in opposition to them might give you a hint about how we could describe their attitude.