Important Scottish Government action – but we can do more

Commenting on today’s Scottish Programme for Government, Peter Kelly, director of the Poverty Alliance said: “The First Minister outlined many important measures today. The increase in the value and availability of the Scottish Child Payment will help thousands of households with rising living costs. Rent freezes will help tenants across the country.

“But we could do more. The First Minister said that it is not a lack of political will that prevents us from further action to help people with this cost crisis – it is a lack of money. So, the upcoming emergency budget review must focus on getting additional cash into the pockets of people on low incomes.

“One way we can raise money in Scotland, is through devolved taxes. Previous changes to the Scottish Income Tax have raised hundreds of millions of pounds for public services. We can go further. There are also opportunities to reform local council taxes, to make them fairer and raise much-needed revenue for overstretched services in our communities. There was no mention of any new wealth taxes in this programme for government.

“The First Minister talked about creating a culture of solidarity in Scotland. People in Scotland already believe in holding out a hand to others when we need help. We can use our tax system to support each other in this time of crisis, and reflect the values of compassion and justice that we all share.”

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