Mini budget 2022: Line of Duty star Martin Compston brands tax cuts for super-rich an ‘absolute disgrace’
Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng, in his mini-budget on Friday (September 23), set out a package which included a cut in the basic rate of tax to 19p in the pound and the scrapping of the top rate of income tax.
Critics questioned the fairness of the package, as the 660,000 highest earners were given an average yearly tax cut of £10,000 with the income tax change.
From April, those earning more than £150,000 a year will no longer pay the top rate of 45% and will join those on £50,271 in paying the 40% rate.
These changes have no impact on income tax rates in Scotland, which are set by the Scottish Government, but further increase the divergence between the amount paid north and south of the border.
Line of Duty star Compston, who pays tax in Scotland despite living in Los Angeles, took to social media shortly after the announcement to vent his anger.
Posting on his Twitter account, the Greenock-born actor wrote: “Absolute disgrace during a cost of living crisis. Those who earn more should be paying more in periods like this.
“I don’t want to pay more tax same as everybody else but when people are literally struggling to keep their lights on more than happy to be paying 46% here in Scotland.”
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon echoed Compston’s comments, saying the super wealthy are “laughing all the way to the actual bank”.
As a result of the income tax reduction, and a cut in stamp duty, the Treasury said the Scottish Government will receive £600 million over the three-year period covered by the 2021 spending review.
The rise in national insurance proposed under Boris Johnson has also been cancelled, benefiting 2.3 million people in Scotland, the Treasury said.
Ms Sturgeon took aim at the UK Government’s plans, which she said on Twitter would benefit the rich while working people struggled.
“The super wealthy laughing all the way to the actual bank (tho I suspect many of them will also be appalled by the moral bankruptcy of the Tories) while increasing numbers of the rest relying on food banks – all thanks to the incompetence and recklessness of this failed UK Gov,” she said on Twitter.
The First Minister later tweeted again, hinting that the Scottish Government would not follow the tax policies of Westminster. She wrote: “A UK gov ‘budget’ that benefits wealthiest over poor/middle income earners, tanks the £, pushes up the cost of (v substantial) borrowing, and is castigated as reckless.
“And yet Tories (& right wing commentators) will demand that @scotgov blindly follows suit. Mmm …”