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Home/STUC Congress/Congress 2024/Live Decisions of Congress 2024/Composite A (Covering Amended Motion 1 and Motions 4 & 5)

Live Decisions of Congress 2024

Composite A (Covering Amended Motion 1 and Motions 4 & 5)

Raising Taxes to Deliver for Scotland

“That this Congress notes an ageing population, the climate transition, cuts in public services and the disproportionate impact of these cuts on people with protected characteristics, all require an increase in tax revenue to fund public investment.   

“Congress notes polling showing two-thirds support increasing taxation to fund more public spending on health, education and social benefits.  

“Congress acknowledges the challenging fiscal environment in Scotland, with high inflation, ongoing threat of recession, and funding squeezes across the public sector. However, it is clear that Scotland’s tax revenues are currently too low to fund consistently high-quality public services and our current tax system benefits rich individuals and corporations. Fundamental reform is needed. 

“Congress welcomes the Scottish Government’s new tax rate for those earning over £75,000, as proposed by the STUC. However, the Scottish Government’s Council Tax freeze and unwillingness to countenance more ambitious tax reform has left a hole it was never going to fill. 

"Congress commends the STUC report ‘Raising taxes to deliver for Scotland’ which sets out proposals that, in the short run, could raise £1.1 billion in additional revenue to fund public services, largely through a more progressive income tax regime, but includes land, buildings, and landfill taxes. A further £2.6 billion could be raised through a package of longer term, more complex reforms to the tax system including wealth taxes, reform of Council Tax, business taxes, and various climate justice taxes.  

“Congress believes we should use the full powers of the Scottish Parliament to tax wealth and property, which could raise £3.7 billion. 

‘‘These options would expand the tax base to fund public services and would shift resources from the wealthy to the less well off in Scotland and their communities. 

‘‘Congress also notes that these initiatives to boost public services would also further the Community Wealth building agenda that the Scottish Government is committed to and that Building a Fair Work Nation will become easier if public services are properly funded, as improved terms and conditions in public services will mean other employers will make efforts to compete.  An expanded tax base would also allow for greater measures to tackle climate change. 

“Congress further believes that changes are needed at a UK level to close loopholes allowing rich individuals and corporations to minimise tax.  

Congress calls on the General Council to lobby the Scottish Government:  

  • to make greater use of the powers at its disposal to tax the wealth that there is in Scotland and generate more revenue to better fund Scotland’s public services;
  • to immediately commit to a property revaluation as a precursor to replacing the Council Tax with a proportional property tax, initiate plans to implement a wealth tax as part of the local tax system, replace the Small Business Bonus Scheme with a relief for employers providing “fair work”, examine the feasibility and potential under existing powers, of introducing levies on industries with extraordinarily high profit margins, and introduce a private jet tax; and
  • to continue to increase its financial transparency. 

Congress further calls on the General Council to lobby:  

  • the UK Government to equalise capital gains and income tax, close tax avoidance loopholes, reduce inheritance tax reliefs, implement a tax on share buybacks, and invest in a fully resourced cadre of HMRC staff and civil servants to tackle tax avoidance; 
  • local government to utilise the tourist tax and other tax powers to maximise revenue for local services, including arts and culture venues and music education services; and 
  • opposition parties in Scotland to support progressive tax measures, rather than calling, impossibly, for more services but lower taxes.’’ 

Mover: STUC General Council 

Seconder: Unison

Supporters:

EIS

Musicians Union  

East Kilbride & South Lanarkshire Trades Council 

 

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