Scottish Independence: Labour reveals powers plans

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LABOUR today unveiled its plans to give the Scottish Parliament more powers if there is a No vote in the independence referendum.

The proposals include increased control over income tax, responsibility for housing benefit, health and safety, employment tribunals and equalities legislation.

Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont.  Picture: Ian Rutherford

Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont. Picture: Ian Rutherford

Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont said Holyrood should raise around 40 per cent of its own revenues.

The Scotland Act will give Holyrood control of half the current 20p basic rate of income tax from 2016, but Labour now says this should be extended to 15p

Under Labour’s plans, the Scottish Parliament would be able to raise or lower the tax rate for all bands together or raise the top two tax rates, currently 40p and 45p, but could not lower these top rates without lowering the basic rate too.

The party said this was to stop Scotland being turned into a Channel Islands-style tax haven.

The SNP said today’s Labour proposals were “a huge watering down” of what the party had proposed in its interim report last year.