THE First Minister has branded Labour’s wealth tax U-turn as “disturbing but not surprising” after the party’s shadow chancellor insisted there were “no plans” for one - despite previously advocating for it.

Rachel Reeves also ruled out an increase to the top rate of income tax, one of Labour leader Keir Starmer’s now-infamous “10 pledges” he made during the party’s last leadership election.

Starmer previously vowed to increase the 45p income tax rate for the top 5% of earners, stating that there would be “no stepping back from our core principles”.

READ MORE: Why a wealth tax makes sense, and what Scotland can do about it

But Reeves told The Telegraph at the weekend that as well as dropping the wealth tax commitment, a Labour government would not introduce a mansion tax on expensive properties or raise capital gains tax.

Left-wing group Momentum described the policy change as “shameful” and a “political choice to favour big business”.

Yousaf said that Labour appear to have U-turned on “every progressive policy they have ever announced” at an event in Glasgow on Monday morning.

Yousaf told The National: “It wasn’t just that she ruled out a wealth tax, I think that she ruled out taxes on those who are the wealthiest which I found I have to say disturbing, but not surprising, given that Labour have U-turned on every progressive policy it seems that they have ever announced.

“From the Scottish Government perspective I’ve been really clear from day one that progressive taxation, and I’m pleased in Scotland that we have the most progressive taxation system, is really key, I think it's vital.

“I think it's important that those who earn the most pay the most, particularly when it comes to investing in our public services and investing in initiatives that are there to reduce poverty.”

Introducing a wealth tax and increasing the income tax rate were policies included in Scottish Labour’s 2019 manifesto, while the 2021 Holyrood manifesto only backed a tax rise on the highest incomes if necessary.

The move is reportedly to blunt Tory attacks, as Labour figures are concerned that promising tax hikes or making spending pledges would be used to paint the party as economically incompetent ahead of the General Election.

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Confirming the policy change, Reeves told The Telegraph: “I don’t see a route towards having more money for public services that is through taxing our way there.

“It is going to be through growing our way there. And that’s why the policies that we’ve set out are all about how we can encourage businesses, big and small, to invest in Britain.”

The Labour MP also said her preparations for office include “spending an awful lot of time with businesses”.

The Tories claimed that the latest U-turn showed Reeves was “taking the British people for fools" and claimed the party’s “reckless spending plans” would crash the economy.

The National: Keir Starmer (left) and Anas Sarwar appearing at Rutherglen Town Hall Image: PA

Meanwhile, the move caused a backlash from the left wing of the party, with Momentum writing on X, formerly known as Twitter: “Four people in this country have more wealth than *20 million Britons*.

“Meanwhile, capital gains are taxed lower than income.

“This is a political choice to favour big business & the 1% over ordinary people. Shameful.”

It comes as an ex-Labour MP said the move showed the party are tailoring their policies to the English middle class and “abandoning everything they’ve ever stood for”.