If you’re just tuning into the post-referendum news, let’s bring you up to speed: Scotland’s residents voted “No” on Scottish independence, preferring to stay within the UK. If you’re looking at the tax deadlines this year, you might want to know what’s going to change, and whats going to stay the same.
The big news is a “devolution” spree that will get Scotland a few powers they didn’t have before, while keeping them within the union. Holyrood can raise a new 2 billion pounds in revenues, which will give them greater control over taxes than what’s currently in motion.
The Scottish Parliament isn’t dead in the water just because they’re remaining in the union. The Scotland Act is about to come into effect in April 2016, letting the country’s Parliament have more power over the taxes.
The current income tax is around 3p per pound. By 2016, Scottish Parliament could change that to 10p in the pound.
Most within the UK know that the basic tax rate is around 20% right now. Yet in a little under 2 years, the rate could be reduced to 10%, or raised to 30%. The higher rate is already 40%, but Scotland could decide to give its residents a break. The top rate of 45% can be reduced as well, but it’s up to them to decide.
The UK is moving quickly to try to make peace with Scotland, given that over 1.6 million voters turned out to vote “Yes” to independence. David Cameron is trying to act quickly, but they also want to make sure that they handle things fairly. Too much focus on Scotland above the other countries could spark further problems.
Benefits are where the real battle begins. Scotland wants to get rid of the “bedroom tax”, which is the spare room subsidy portion of the housing benefit. The country also wants to control the execution of the Work Programme, a key resource that helps people find jobs.
The issues will be brought to the floor on the 16th of October, but nothing will be published until January. Yet don’t expect any change even in January, as the policy won’t become law until after May 2015.
Scotland has a long road ahead, just as they would have if they separated from the UK.
What do you think? Should Scotland have split form the UK and formed their own nation again, or should they stay and try to work things out with Westminster?