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ICAS calls for collaboration to deliver new powers

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23rd Jan 2015
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The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS) has called for "unprecedented levels of collaboration" between England and Scotland governments to support plans for new Scottish devolution powers.

Holyrood will become one of the most powerful devolved parliaments in the world, the UK government said as it announced the new powers.

The Scottish parliament will be responsible for more than 60% of Scottish spending while retaining the safety and security of being part of the wider UK, the government said.

It's new powers will include new income tax bands, areas of welfare, some employment programmes, further borrowing powers and air passenger duty, as well as receiving a proportion of VAT.

Devolution in the UK needs needs significant expertise and resources to adequately analyse the reversing of decades of centralisation, said Anton Colella, ICAS chief executive.

"This requires full support from governments, professional bodies and all levels of civic life to deliver a lasting package across the UK." 

One of first big tax changes in Scotland will be on properties.

Scotland's finance secretary John Swinney has announced changes to the tax rates for the proposed new property tax in Scotland.

Changes to the Lands and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT), which replaces stamp duty from April 2015, will mean that house purchases costing less than £145,000 will be tax free in Scotland, ICAS said.

Swinney’s original plan for LBTT, announced in October last year, raised the threshold for paying tax on a home from £125,000 under stamp duty to £135,000, ICAS added. 

Marginal rates will range from 2% to a top rate of 12% for people buying houses costing more than £750,000, instead of the planned £1m.

A similar system has been introduced for the rest of the UK, with a lower rate of tax for properties in the upper end of the market than in Scotland.   

Swinney said that the new tax rates will mean that around 10,000 house purchases currently liable for UK stamp duty will be exempt from tax and over 40,000 buyers will pay less on the purchase of a new home

Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson MSP has dismissed the idea that the Scottish people want Holyrood to use its new fiscal powers to increase income tax, ICAS reported

Davidson was speaking on Thursday at an event in Edinburgh which was supported by ICAS and included the leaders of the main Scottish parties. Davidson has also promised that her party will, in the next few weeks, announce the establishment of an independent commission to look at Scotland’s taxation and public services.

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By ShirleyM
24th Jan 2015 18:08

Here we go again ....

The SNP is going to vote on fracking in the UK, in a Commons vote on Monday, but those laws will not apply to Scotland! (assuming the news is correct!)

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-30959646

This is the height of double standards and hypocrisy! Maybe the SNP are hoping the English/Welsh/Irish will get so cheesed off with the double standards that they ask for a referendum to exit the UK, therefore leaving Scotland independent!

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