‘Worthwhile’ for Wales to have same income tax powers as Scotland says Mark Drakeford
The First Minister, Mark Drakeford, has said that it would be “worthwhile” for the Welsh Government to have the same ability as Scotland to set income tax bands.
In an interview with S4C’s Y Byd yn ei Le programme, Mr Drakeford said that the “flexibility they have in Scotland would be worth having in Wales”.
“I’m looking forward to Gordon Brown’s report – he’s thinking about those kinds of things now,” he said. “He’s still thinking about the package of things he’s going to offer – and that package will have an influence not just on us in Wales, but also in Scotland.
“At the moment I think the flexibility they have in Scotland would be worth having in Wales.
“But I want to see the whole package – not just the effect on us but on Scotland as well.”
His comments come after Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng announced a controversial reduction in the basic rate of income tax, and the complete removal of the higher rate of tax for those earning over £150,000.
UK Labour has said they would keep the reduction in basic income tax, but criticized the cut to higher income tax.
Since 2019 the Welsh Government has had the power to vary the income tax somewhat within bands set by Westminster, but Scotland has the full ability to set their own income tax bands.
“Dwi’n meddwl y bydd yr hyblygrwydd sydd ganddyn nhw yn yr Alban yn werth inni gael yng Nghymru, ond dwi eisiau gweld y pecyn i gyd.”
— Y Byd yn ei Le (@ybydyneileS4C) September 29, 2022
The Scottish Government have already said that they will not replicate the Conservatives’ “reckless” tax cuts.
Deputy First Minister John Swinney, who is also acting as Finance Secretary, said he would convene an expert advisory group and respond to the Chancellor’s mini-budget at the end of October.
Responding to questions in Holyrood on Tuesday, Mr Swinney said: “We will not be replicating the Tories’ reckless tax cuts, but we’ll consider the correct measures for Scotland carefully.
“I intend to seek advice from an expert panel specifically convened to consider the implications of the mini-budget, and will also embark on discussions with business and trade union interests.”
Nicola Sturgeon had earlier voiced her opposition to the measures in Kwasi Kwarteng’s Growth Plan, saying they were “morally repugnant”.
Financial markets have been in turmoil since the announcement on Friday, with the pound falling to a record low against the US dollar on Monday morning.
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