Saturday, 9 April 2016

Labour Leader Must End 'Confused and Hypocritical' Stance on Tax

Corbyn Challenged to Back Trident Cut Rather than Raise Tax on Low Earners

Nicola Sturgeon has today challenged Jeremy Corbyn to end Labour’s ‘confused and hypocritical’ stance on tax – and to confirm his entire party’s opposition to spending £167 thousand million on nuclear weapons.

While supporting Kezia Dugdale’s plans to raise the level of tax on millions of low-income workers in Scotland – including 500,000 pensioners – Jeremy Corbyn has also supported George Osborne’s plan to cut taxes for the better off, south of the border. The SNP tax plans would protect the low paid, and reverse this tax cut on the rich.

Instead of raising tax on low-earners, the First Minister called on Mr Corbyn to “show some proper leadership” and confirm his entire party’s opposition to Trident renewal – which would free up £167bn to spend on public services.

Commenting, Nicola Sturgeon said:

“The idea that Jeremy Corbyn will use his day-trip to Scotland to lecture people on fairness – while supporting George Osborne’s tax cut for the better off and Kezia Dugdale’s plan to hike taxes on even the lowest paid workers – is incredible.

“Labour’s tax increase on the low-paid has already descended into absolute farce after Kezia Dugdale’s plans for a ‘rebate’ fell apart – and the fact that Jeremy Corbyn has now backed her plans shows that he is either completely unaware of the detail, or that he is simply indifferent to the idea of low-earners being forced to pay the price for Tory austerity.

“Making low earners pay in Scotland pay the price of Tory austerity whilst giving high earners in England a tax cut is simply falling into a Tory trap. This is either an example of complete confusion from Jeremy Corbyn – or of rank hypocrisy.

“Instead of shifting the burden of Tory austerity onto the incomes of the lowest paid Labour should get their act together to oppose Trident renewal and release £167bn for public spending – the fact that they have not yet done so is testament to the absolute chaos in their ranks on this and so many other issues.

“The SNP will never support the renewal of Trident nuclear weapons and an SNP Scottish Government will stand firm against Tory plans to put new nuclear weapons on the Clyde at every possible opportunity.

“Jeremy Corbyn must show some proper leadership on the issue and take his party with him – or else it will be clearer than ever that all he has to offer is warm words.

“In contrast, the SNP is the only party in Scotland with the strength, unity and vision to stand up to the Tories, firmly oppose Trident and put forward fair and progressive tax plans which protect people on low incomes – and until Labour end their confused and hypocritical stance on tax and public spending, they’ll continue to be rejected by people in Scotland.”
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