From April 2015, through the Scotland Act, the Scottish Parliament will be able, to introduce and manage taxes relating to the purchase or leasing of land and buildings, and a replacement for Landfill Tax.
Yesterday I outlined to Parliament my firm belief that decisions about the future of taxation in Scotland need to be made by the people of Scotland and how this Government would make full use of these new powers to introduce and manage taxes.
In our consultation launched yesterday, we propose that Scotland’s approach to taxation is proportionate and fair. This means that the amount of tax paid when buying land, housing or commercial property is more closely aligned to the value of a property and therefore the ability of the individual to pay. The consultation also indicates a willingness to adjust the starting threshold at which taxation is levied in order to support those at the lowest end of the market. We believe that these measures will help to stimulate the economy by providing support to those who are struggling to get onto the property ladder. These proposals could make it more affordable for first time buyers to purchase a home.
I also announced that these taxes would be administered in Scotland by Revenue Scotland. As the UK Government could not guarantee the collection of the taxes that the Scottish Parliament will set, we will establish Revenue Scotland to work with existing Scottish agencies to ensure more efficient and cheaper tax collection than we currently get from the UK. These plans demonstrate that when we have the necessary powers in Scotland we can do things differently and better.
We can be flexible and dynamic in our approach to taxation and tackle issues that matter to the people of Scotland. We have already demonstrated this in our approach to Council Tax and the Small Business Bonus Scheme, which has been welcomed by businesses and householders across the country.
This approach represents a strong foundation for the future and I believe the case for the responsibility for all taxation in Scotland resting with the Scottish Parliament and Scottish people is compelling. More information on our consultation and how you can respond to our proposals is available on our website.