Scottish families are being shafted by new Tory poll tax

Scotland’s families and young people are set to be shafted by Boris Johnson’s plans to impose a National Insurance tax hike on millions, in order to fix Westminster’s social care crisis in England – creating a new form of ‘Poll Tax’ in Scotland.

While the social care crisis in England, which has spiralled out of control under successive Tory, Lib Dem and Labour governments, needs to be addressed – raising National Insurance across the UK is not the answer.

Boris Johnson and the Tories explicitly ruled out increasing national insurance in their 2019 manifesto.

Now they are willing to go back on their manifesto pledge and unfairly penalise young people, low paid workers, and Scottish families who will be forced to pay the price of Westminster’s failure and foot the bill to fix a crisis in England.

An increase in national insurance is simply an unfair and regressive tax hike, which would add to the intergenerational unfairness faced by young people and the pain faced by low incomes families.

Scottish families are already being hit hard by the £1,040 Tory cuts to Universal Credit and the long-term economic damage of Brexit – they must not be forced to pay hundreds of pounds more each year for Tory failure.

In Scotland, unlike in Westminster, we’ve been dealing with social care head on.

The Scottish Government already funds social care provisions from existing budgets and tax receipts – including SNP policies such as free personal and nursing care. Boris Johnson’s plan is now to tax Scottish workers twice and forcing them to pay the bill for social care in England, as well as Scotland.

After over a decade of being hammered by Tory austerity cuts, the UK now has the worst levels of poverty in north west Europe. Now, if Boris Johnson goes ahead with his Tory tax hike, it will cement inequality and push families even further into hardship and crisis.

Under the Tories, young people in England face thousands in university tuition fee debt, stagnant wages, skyrocketing house prices, poorer pensions, and increased charges for basic necessities like travel, dentistry, and prescriptions.

In stark contrast, the SNP Government has invested in young people by scrapping tuition fees, building affordable housing, protecting the Education Maintenance Allowance, and introducing a range of progressive benefits from birth – including the Best Start Grant, the Scottish Child Payment, free bus travel for under 22s, free prescriptions and free dentistry.

It’s increasingly clear there is no chance of a fair Covid recovery at Westminster. The only way to keep Scotland safe from Tory cuts and tax hikes is to become an independent country, with the full powers needed to build a strong, fair and equal recovery.