Warning over income tax devolution

HANDING THE Scottish Parliament full control over income tax could undermine the integrity of the UK, an economic think-tank has warned.

Full devolution of income tax would greatly strengthen the case for English votes for English laws, depriving Scottish MPs of their right to vote on English tax despite its massive influence on UK macroeconomic policy, according to the National Institute of Economic and Social Research.

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All of the main Scottish parties have advocated full income tax, except Labour which has called for three-quarters of the basic rate. But Scottish Labour leadership candidate Neil Findlay has expressed sympathy with calls for full income tax.

His leadership rival Jim Murphy is expected to unveil his tax policy within the next few weeks, but he has dismissed former Labour Chancellor Gordon Brown’s warning that full income tax is a “Tory trap” designed to strip Scottish MPs of their voting rights.