A MEMBER of the Scottish Cabinet has criticised a flagship BBC show for its discussion on tax on Tuesday morning's show. 

It comes as new tax changes are set to come into force from Saturday, April 6 with Scotland set to have six tax bands overall.

The new "advanced" band applies a 45% tax rate on any portion of an individual's annual income between £75,000 and £125,140. 

Good Morning Scotland featured an interview with Scottish businessman Tom Hunter, estimated to be worth around £700 million, who has claimed the country would be more prosperous if the Government lowered income tax rates.

The National:

Asked how reducing taxes would improve the economy Hunter (below) said: “We want to see Scotland flourish and it flourishes if our business community is flourishing.

“And we don’t want to put any barriers in the way of Scottish firms hiring and retaining top talent.

“Therefore, there’s only about 33,000 people in Scotland pay this top rate of tax. Our proposition is that why don’t we get 100,000 people paying that top rate and the way we do it is to lower the top rate and then the tax take goes up.

“Because it’s the tax take that pays for the nurses, the teachers, the policemen, it’s not the tax rate so therefore if you reduced it we would encourage more people to come and work in our wonderful country and therefore would have more tax to spend.”

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He added that he felt having six separate income tax bands was “absurd” and was asked if he would instead like to see something similar to the “Irish model,” where it was pointed out to Hunter that there are only two bands.

Host Laura Maxwell explained: “In Ireland, there only are two bands but you start paying 40% the minute you hit £42,000 if you’re a single person.

“If you’re married, I think you hit £51,000 so everyone earning over £51,000 pays a lot more earlier.”

Hunter said his foundation had looked at Ireland and said: “As a country, it’s got less people than Scotland, but it’s going to run over the next three years a €60 billion surplus, Scotland is going to run a £30bn deficit.

“There is something here for our politicians to look at absolutely.”

Màiri McAllan criticism

Scotland’s Energy Secretary Màiri McAllan took to Twitter/X to point out that the discussion failed to mention two key things about Ireland.

The National:

She said: “@BBCRadioScot discussing Scottish tax & growth, with comparisons to Ireland – which is fine except there’s no mention that successful Ireland is (a) independent and (b) in the EU single market.

“These are key recipes for growth and critical to Scotland’s future prosperity. In the meantime, our progressive tax regime sees most people in Scotland pay less tax than rUK while asking those who can to pay a bit more – a social contract helping insulate our people & public services from relentless UK austerity & providing services we all benefit from.

“Income tax must be managed v. carefully, with close regard to behaviours. But let’s have the discussion in the round – including that Scotland doesn’t have most key powers, was dragged out of EU & that our progressive income tax raises additional £1.5bn compared to following UKG plans.”