Tom Gordon cannot bear to say: ‘Scotland has the fairest, most progressive income tax in the UK’


Tom Gordon digs deep into the IFS report on Scotland’s devolved taxation system and pulls out a negative nugget to suit his agenda. Lying scattered and ignored other than in a wee grudging comment, this analysis by the SNP:

A study by the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) has shown that the SNP policies on tax and benefits have created a fairer, more progressive system than is in place in the rest of the UK. The report explains that low-income households across Scotland gain much more from the SNP’s progressive tax and benefit reforms, including a top-up to the carer’s allowance, more generous housing benefit, and extra payments for families with young children. Taken together, these measures will boost the incomes of the poorest fifth of Scottish households by an average of almost 1.5% this year. The analysis shows that the SNP Government has also given Universal Credit recipients more flexibility in how they are paid, and improvements to the process of assessing entitlement to disability benefits will “make life easier for claimants.”

And this from the Cabinet Secretary, Kate Forbes:

This expert analysis makes clear that the SNP has ensured Scotland has the fairest, most progressive income tax in the UK, with a majority of taxpayers paying less than if they lived in England, Wales or Northern Ireland.

30 thoughts on “Tom Gordon cannot bear to say: ‘Scotland has the fairest, most progressive income tax in the UK’

    1. I would refer to Tom Gordon,s rake through the IFS report as akin to searching in a bucket full of broken glass
      All in order to pull out what he thinks is a shining diamond, which is in fact actually
      One the sharpest broken pieces of glass that may be labelled Propaganda
      Holding it up to the light so that just maybe
      A few doubting Yes voters are tricked into thinking Oh how that glitters
      All to avert their gaze from the shining diamond that truly glints as soon as it is exposed to the tiniest exposure to the light of day
      And that fine cut diamond in the bucket of glass is the one cut by Kate Forbes

      Liked by 1 person

    2. “.. but who exactly is paying for this (just asking)”

      Apart for wondering what you are referring to specifically as ‘this’, the information needed to answer your question is out there. You will find it at least partly in the very IFS report mentioned here plus in other reports on Scotland from the IFS published recently.

      You could also find answers to your question using Scottish Government statistical output as well as output from the Fraser of Allander Institute, the Scottish Fiscal Commission and no doubt other sources.

      Having found your answer, then of course we come to looking forward to the political issues of who should pay, what and how, and how progressive do we wish Scotland’s taxation system to be.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Robert Martin
        With full respect I must take issue with
        ” No one begrudges the little”
        Oh yes and they are i believe called Tories
        Who, motto is and as F.Mecury would put it
        “I want it ALL”


      2. Seems unfair when you’ve probably paid tax all your life prior to retirement … when there’s all those folks living in castles etc. …

        Liked by 1 person

    3. England of course! Now where’s my champagne, love the subsidy junkie status here in Scotland, sheer luxury living on the backs of the people of England, can’t understand why on Earth they want to stop Scotland going it alone!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Foucault’s concept of governmentality is very useful when analyzing the power relationships articulated through a nation’s tax regime. As “practice theory” wouldn’t be what it is today, without a bit of Foucault. Mind you, I think your man Gordon needs to practice some intellectual humility first, as well as needing some remedial work on his journalism ethics. Though tbh, I don’t think he cares about the truth, so long as he can maintain his beliefs and wrong-headed interpretation of social reality.

    Democracies in Action: A Foucaultian Perspective on British and French Tax Enforcement

    “Democracy has to be seen as a network of rules, practices and bodies of knowledge. These rules and practices, which constitute the living everyday reality of Democracy are culturally determined, variable, evolving. “


  2. “Uncle Tam, what a bam,
    Throws his toys right out the pram.
    Nae steak for him, only spam.
    Calls Boris “Boss” and Ruthie “Ma’am”,
    Belly-crawling for a dram!

    From all of us– “feck off, jist scram”!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Everyone (almost everyone) pays tax, if not income tax they pay VAT, including the poor. 5% on your heating and cooking bills. Thatcher slapped full VAT on energy bills, Labour reduced it, but didn’t scrap it!
      Most non food goods have VAT slapped on them, your washing powder for instance. The only ones who don’t pay tax are the rich, the very rich, and the rich beyond anyones wildest dreams, and many will claim back any VAT they do pay, using clever accountancy. Isn’t it the case that a few very rich folk have more cash stashed than the rest of the world’s population, or something like that, it’s quite sickening to say the very least.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Worth remembering ArtyHetty that VAT came in as a result of joining the Common Market as it was then. Vat was set at 8% at that point and replaced Purchase Tax which was the UK’s version of a tax on goods. On some ‘luxury’ goods it was as high as 33%. Luxury goods of course included fridges etc. The tax was a way of rationing these goods.

        Later the EU had a sort of base level of VAT and individual countries could put the VAT rate up if they wished. I think Gordon Brown and George Osborne put it up at one point as high as 20%.

        Gordon Brown was also the one who abolished the 10p tax band and said that no one would be worse off because of it!!!!! I had just retired and my state pension plus SERPS tipped me into the 10p tax band which I did not mind but as soon as Gordon Brown announced the 10p tax band was going I knew my tax bill was going to double. It also affected the lowest paid who were in the 10p band and like me were now in the 20p band with a much higher tax take.

        Sorry if that was a bit of history you could have done without but it rankles to this day!

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Jimmy
        Human civilisation can be properly explained as follows
        Those societies who fail to meet the criteria are NOT civilised
        So judge on
        How we treat our fellow citizens
        How we treat our living enviroment
        End off
        No debate shall be entered into


      2. Reply to Legerwood.

        Thanks for that history lesson…I will try not to take offence at your incredibly patronising attitude. Nice.

        I am sure what you say is correct, but I don’t suppose VAT was really meant to be slapped onto essential living needs, like heating and cooking, access to which is a human right under the human rights act! In other words, they are NOT luxuries. It was the Tories who implemented that and Labour carried it on, how very socialist, not! We are all still paying for that disgraceful money grab by the British Nationalists. I don’t suppose that’s really what you wanted to hear…and it’s not even historical it’s current!!


  3. I appreciate that some folks might be getting a bit sick of my concern for social justice, and may even consider me a bleeding heart snowflake. Honestly, I do get it, as the ill-conceived advocacy for social justice (see “trans-women are women”), poses as much of a threat to the principle of equality in law and natural rights, as institutional Torydum and contemporary English/British nationalism. The thing is, open democracy will always remain an unobtainable aspiration, without substantive social justice.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. O/T. I received another Lib Dem election leaflet today. There was one line that stood out and caused me to reflect. It was about voting Lib Dem and so “give Scotland a bigger say by reforming the UK’.

    This is from a party that has long trumpeted its support for reform of the House of Lords; reform of the Westminster voting system; and establishment of a federal UK. It is from a political party that has singularly failed to realise any significant reforms. So what chance of voting for the Lib Dems leading to reform of the UK to give Scotland a bigger say? Zero! This is not just disingenuous – it’s guff!

    But there is more that is notable here given this political prospectus is coming from the Lib Dem Scottish branch led by Willie Rennie.

    Readers may recall that the Unionist organisation ‘These Islands’ held a conferences for its ‘great and good’ in Newcastle in early 2020. Rennie was a speaker at the event. His contribution was given profile by the journalist Henry Hill, a leading light of the right wing Conservative Home. Hill attended the event and on 9 April 2020 he wrote a piece rubbishing the concept of a federal UK under this headline: ‘Labour’s new leader sets the party against Scottish independence… but toward federalist folly’. Now on being a ‘folly” I and many here will agree but the point is that he used Willie Rennie’s speech to the conference to support this view. Hill wrote:

    “ .. even the likes of Willie Rennie, the leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats and a committed federalist, told a recent pro-UK conference that the Scottish Government has “sufficient powers”.’

    It’s worth recalling that based on the same conference’s proceedings Hill added: “In fact even Gordon Brown, in the middle of his argument with me at that same conference, was at pains to disclaim the suggestion that he was calling for even more powers for Holyrood.”


    Liked by 1 person

    1. “O/T. I received another Lib Dem election leaflet today.”

      I’m jealous. I’ve only had the one ad I was hoping for more. I’m always looking for stuff to line the bottom of the rabbit’s cage… 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I had decided to follow Alex Salmond’s recommendations of lending my vote to the SNP in the constituency votes, but the SNP is making it very, very hard for me to do so. The interests of open democracy are not served by denying women a legally defensible identity that is autonomous from the will of men. As that would deny women their human right to a defensible legal identity. Without which it isn’t possible to make effective claims to legal rights, or have the potential to access the public realm on an equal footing with men. Which is pretty much as Westminster is determined to treat Scots, which implies Westminster believes Scots must subourdinate our legal interests to the interests of reactionary English/British nationalism.



    1. The proposed changes to the GRA (2004) are solely concerned with the process by which a person acquires a certificate legally recognising their acquired gender. It is a proposal to change a process that has been in operation since 2005. I do not consider that this in way threatens my position or rights as a woman especially so since the Act has been in force for 16 years with Mary a comment when it was passed and throughout its operation.

      Both the Scottish Gov and UK Gov have held consultations on the proposals to reform that part of the Act. In March/April 2020 both Govs put the matter on hold due to the pandemic.

      In Dec 2020 a briefing paper was produced which proposed that in England and Wales the only change to the GRA(2004) would be a reduction in the cost of obtaining a Certificate. All other respects the process that a person has to undergo remains the same as originally set out in the Act (2004)

      I believe the UK gov has already taken steps to implement this. In Scotland the matter is still on hold.

      Perhaps you would like to detail in your own words just exactly how my rights are being affected by proposals to change the procedure a person must follow to obtain a certificate recognising their legally acquired gender particularly since the right has been in effect for 15 years or more almost without comment.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The intent of the GRA was to enable the recognition of adopted gender to that which was opposite of one’s biological sex. The proposed amendments in Scotland, expand this intention to enable the legal change of sex, despite the fact that it is impossible for an individual to physically change their sex. So the law is being asked to support a material fantasy.

        Why is it so difficult for you to accept the the drafting of legislation conflates sex with gender-identity, thereby enabling men to colonise the female sex-class? The Scottish consultation was similarly bogus. So kindly better inform yourself, or admit you care little for the rights of women.


  6. Women have fought a long and bitter fight to gain legal parity with men, which is enshrined in international law, and grounded on the legal concept of what a woman is, that is grounded in the biological differences between men and women. As such, the legal definition of what constitutes a woman, dose not afford the accommodation of biological males in the female sex-class. So given the yogyakarta principles fail to acknowledge this legal reality, the principles can’t be considered international best practice.

    In fact, a gender critical approach to law and legal practice is considered international best practice, and is what the Scottish civil service were following until instructed to do otherwise. Though I can’t remember this change being authorised by Holyrood.


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