People on more than £28,000 are considered ‘high earners’ in Scotland, says Tory candidate

Thomas Kerr
Thomas Kerr is running to be the next MP for Rutherglen and Hamilton West - Garry F McHarg/Shutterstock

People on more than £28,000 are considered “high earners” in Scotland, a Tory candidate has said.

Currently, Scots with salaries of more than £28,867 pay more income tax than they would elsewhere in the UK, at an “intermediate rate” of 21 per cent.

The higher rate of 42 per cent, which kicks in at £43,663, and the top rate of 48 per cent, charged on income above £125,140, are also both higher than in other parts of the United Kingdom.

Thomas Kerr, who is running to be the next MP for Rutherglen and Hamilton West, said calling someone on £28,000 or more a “high earner” does not “seem fair whatsoever”.

‘Progressive taxation’

Speaking at a BBC hustings on Monday evening, he said: “I would point to the fact that here in Scotland, we have something called progressive taxation where you tax the high earners, but a high earner is someone who’s earning £28,000 or over. That to me doesn’t seem fair whatsoever.

“I think that taxation should work if it means that you’re improving local services. But if you look at the Scottish NHS, you look at policing, you look at education, that hasn’t happened, so we’re taxing people more but we’re getting less. That shouldn’t be the case.”

The Scottish Tories have previously suggested they would scrap the intermediate rate, stating in their manifesto for the Holyrood elections in 2021 that: “By the end of the Parliament, we would seek to ensure that Scottish taxpayers do not pay higher income tax than those in the rest of the UK while retaining the starter rate for low earners.”

‘Advanced rate’

There are six income tax bands in Scotland compared to four in the rest of the United Kingdom.

The intermediate rate is levied on earnings between £26,562 and £43,662. The crossover point, at which Scottish taxpayers start paying more than their UK counterparts, is £28,867, according to the Chartered Institute of Taxation.

A new “advanced rate” of 45 per cent was also introduced this year, applying to salaries of between £75,000 and £125,140.