TAX FAIRNESS ESSENTIAL IN WAKE OF RECESSION AND CUTS
SNP amendments to the Finance Bill focussed on helping households, businesses and communities will be debated in the Commons tomorrow (Tuesday).
The amendments seek to: introduce a fuel duty regulator to protect jobs in the transport industry and help motorists and businesses; introduce a fair tax regime on alcohol – to protect jobs in the Whisky industry; and proposals to overturn the unfair taxation of licensed bingo clubs.
SNP Treasury spokesperson, Stewart Hosie MP, said:
“Together we must all work to protect jobs and invest in recovery in the wake of Labour’s bombshell Budget.
“These amendments are about helping households and businesses. In contrast, Labour has chosen to stab at the heart of crucial Scottish budgets. I hope Scottish MPs of all parties will get behind these sensible proposals.”
On proposals for a fuel duty regulator, Mr Hosie said:
“A road fuel regulator would see any extra cash raised from VAT on higher pump prices go straight back into an equivalent cut in fuel duty. It would give a real lifeline to Scotland’s hauliers who are unable to plan effectively for the future because they do not know what the price of fuel will be and prevent the rising food prices that come from increased fuel costs.
“Further increases in fuel prices would be disastrous in the grip of recession. Fuel duty hikes may temporarily boost empty Treasury coffers, but increases will actually hinder economic recovery.
“The UK government should be easing the burden faced by business and households, and a fuel duty regulator mechanism would help do just that.”
On demands for a fair deal on whisky taxation, Mr Hosie said:
“The UK Government is treating the whisky industry as a cash cow. Only last year Labour Ministers announced record 17% in duty hikes, and now the pain continues. The whisky sector is one of the country’s key industries and it is a disgrace that the UK Treasury is treating it so badly.
“Alcohol taxation should be fair taxation with minimum pricing ensuring that the drinks that damage our society such as cheap ciders and budget beers are no longer sold at pocket money prices.
On proposals for a fair deal on Bingo taxation, Mr Hosie said:
“There is widespread support for bringing down the rate of Bingo duty from 22 per cent to 15 percent in line with the tax rate for every other form of gambling. This is about fair play for one of the most popular pastimes enjoyed by people in all communities.”