A TORY minister has claimed people in the Scottish Borders are struggling to justify living in Scotland because of taxes.

Tory and Labour MPs teamed up in the Commons on Wednesday to attack the SNP for raising taxes north of the Border, with shadow Scotland secretary Ian Murray referencing an internet meme to criticise the Scottish Government.

It comes after taxes on those earning more than around £28,850 were increased last year and the introduction of a new tax band for higher earners. This is believed to mean around 51% of Scottish taxpayers pay less than if they lived in England. 

Murray, the MP for Edinburgh South, said: “The supposed party of low tax has created the highest tax burden on working people in 70 years and it makes this the biggest tax-raising parliament since records began.

“In Scotland, the SNP have looked at this tax burden and said, ‘Hold my beer’.”

Douglas Ross, the leader of the Scottish Conservatives, claimed the UK Government’s Budget last year was in “stark contrast” to that delivered at Holyrood in December.

He said: “The Autumn Statement from this UK Conservative Government provided tax cuts for millions of Scots, provided support for businesses and invested to grow the economy.

“That was in stark contrast from the SNP’s Budget last month, which hiked taxes on hard-working Scots, failed to pass on the support to hospitality, retail and tourism sectors and has been widely criticised across Scotland.”

READ MORE: What do the new tax bands in the Scottish Budget mean for you?

In response to another question, Scotland Office minister John Lamont also took the Scottish Government to task over its tax policies, claiming that “every day” in his Borders constituency, he found people struggling to justify living in Scotland.

He said: “Sadly, the SNP’s sole focus seems to be independence referendums and making Scotland the highest-taxed part of the United Kingdom.

“I can see this every day of the week in my own constituency as people are finding it increasingly difficult to justify remaining in Scotland when they’re paying so much more tax compared to the rest of the UK but getting less good public services.”

But the SNP hit back, arguing most people in Scotland paid less income tax than in England and that it is "right that we ask those with the broadest shoulders to bear more". 

Speaking after the session, SNP MP David Linden said: "Most Scots pay less under the SNP Scottish Government’s progressive tax agenda, not to mention that council tax is, on average, over £600 lower in Scotland than it is in England.

“It’s right that we ask those with the broadest shoulders to bear more. Those on higher incomes should pay more and do so under Scotland’s fair system – of which the benefits are huge.

“Free tuition and prescriptions, access to the baby box and support from Social Security Scotland are just some of the ways we are ensuring that everyone in Scotland has access to the education, healthcare and support they require without financial barriers.”

And he accused the UK Government of having the wrong priorities by spending eye-watering sums on nuclear weapons.

“The SNP Scottish Government is providing for the people of Scotland and ensuring their tax is spent on things that benefit them – a far cry from the UK Government who prioritise spending billions on weapons of mass destruction,” Linden added.