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Jan 25th, 2018

Scottish tax: loophole petition

By Becca McCarthy

This is awkward. The Scottish government are about to hand some of the highest earners in the country a tax cut – by mistake. [1] Their current budget plans include an accidental loophole that gives a £90 million tax cut to people earning between £43,000 and £58,000. That money could be spent on our NHS.

Can you sign the petition today to tell MSPs to act now and close this loophole:


MSPs are voting on Scotland’s new budget in the next few weeks. 38 Degrees members like you have helped shape their plans which would cut taxes for the lowest earners and raise them for the richest. [2] That’s good news for sure.

But a loophole has just been discovered that means some of Scotland’s highest earners would get a tax cut worth £90 million. [3] That’s ninety million pounds that could pay for more books for our children’s schools, more nurses for our hospitals and repairs to Scotland’s roads.

Derek Mackay, the finance minister, has already admitted the loophole was an “unintended consequence” of other changes, and now the government is coming under heavy pressure to change it. [4] If we can show that the public want the loophole closed, it could be enough to redirect that money to our NHS.

Earlier this week, we sent you an email asking what 38 Degrees should do about the loophole. The response was overwhelming. Over 90% of 38 Degrees members want to pressure the government to raise much needed extra money for our public services instead of giving a tax cut to some of the highest earners. [5] So we’re now joining together to push the government to do just that.


[1] Finance Secretary Derek Mackay: “I did not set out to have a particular bracket that is affected in that way. It is an unintended consequence of resetting the whole system and proposing to increase the higher-rate threshold.”
Scottish Parliament: Official Report Finance and Constitution Committee 10 January 2018:
[2] 38 Degrees: Breaking News: Scottish Tax:
[3] The National: Closing income tax loophole could raise extra £90m:
The Herald: Mackay urged to close income tax loophole for better off:
[4] See note 1.
[5] 38 Degrees: Missing £90 million:

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