Factcheck: High earners rarely flee higher taxes

This story will be everywhere as unionists hope to scare with a story based on SFA evidence.

We’ve seen this before as the right-wing media try to undermine Scotland’s gradually improving, more progressive, tax regime.

In 2015, the Telegraph predicted an exodus of the wealthy and young and 2017, Border Region Tories predicted an exodus to England. I can find no subsequent hard evidence that this ever happened.

What is clear is this:

Figure 3.1 shows estimates of net migration between Scotland and rUK over the period 1951-52 to 2017-18[3]. During this period, Scotland changed from being a nation that typically experienced a net outflow of population to one where migration had a positive effect on population growth. Between 1951-52 and 2000-01, 399,000 more people left Scotland for other parts of the UK than moved to Scotland from rUK; since mid-2001, population flows from rUK have increased Scotland’s population by 137,000.https://www.gov.scot/publications/internal-migration-scotland-uk-trends-policy-lessons/pages/5/

In the absence of UK research explaining internal migration, there is evidence from the US Treasury over the period 1999 to 2011. I appreciate that there are limits to such comparison but it remains of interest. There was virtually no correlation between income and migration rates, with middle-earners and the rich, both moving at a rate of around 2.4%. Of particular interest, it was the lower earners who were the most mobile at nearly twice that rate. Perhaps Scotland’s very low taxation of that group and greater access to affordable housing explains why we can staff our public services.


5 thoughts on “Factcheck: High earners rarely flee higher taxes

  1. Michael Glackin is a freelancer, whoever pays….
    His Times article states “Three former economic advisers to the Scottish government…” who turn out to be Sir George Mathewson, the former Royal Bank of Scotland boss, Professor Sir John Kay and the tycoon Jim McColl… Now just ponder the “when” of these “former economic advisers to the Scottish government…”
    Sir George Mathewson – ca 2007
    Professor Sir John Kay – ca 2007
    Jim McColl – ca 2007
    Anybody see a pattern here ?

    Is Jim McColl still miffed he didn’t screw-over, sorry, make a success out of Ferguson Marine ?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The other thing is the structural issue for high earners. If you hold a high earning job almost anywhere in Scotland (just for instance, Principal of Edinburgh University) you are going to have a bit of a job convincing HMRC that your principal residence is in Carlisle or Newcastle (or even Berwick).
    The other thing is how footloose are these high earners. Do none of them have kids at school, so that you dont really want to take them elsewhere – losing friends, national exams coming up. Do you really want to locate to a new community anyway and, in effect, start again? All for a few thousand quid which is a piddling percentage of the wonga that you are making anyhow.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Also why would they give up a nice lifestyle to upsticks to England? Sell your house, change schools for your kids, pay for your prescriptions, pay for toll bridges, kids at uni having to pay tuition fees, give up everything and find another job. Nah not gonna happen.

      The media and their BritNat masters are desperate to try fooling the people of Scotland, as usual.


  3. I see that in an interview with Boris Johnson’s cheerleader, Laura Kuennsberg, “Sir” Keir Starmer has said that, if elected, Labour would reverse the cut in the income tax rate for higher earners in England and restore the 45% rate. He said, further, that he supports the reduction to 19%.

    I wonder if there is somewhere that has such tax rates and which has stated that it would NOT be altering tax rates?


  4. Scotland’s population has not changed since 1900 and before. 5million. A dipinthe 1950s (War). Until Devolution 2000. Increased to 5.4million. Mainly under an SNP government. administration. Scotland needs people. Scotland taxes and revenues were illegally and secretly taken to fund London S/E. Illegal wars, financial fraud and tax evasion. Thatcher and Westminster illegal corruption kept secret under the Official Secrets Act. Iraq, Dunblane andLovkerbie kept secret for 100 years. The UK one of the most unequal places in the world. Westminster Tories rewarding bankers who fund the Tory Party. Total corruption. Totally out of touch and out of time.


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