Here are the key points from the Scottish Budget speech on 12 December 2018:
- £50m capital fund to support Scotland's town centres
- No out-of-town levy at this stage (will be kept under review)
- Increase in business rates in Scotland in 2019/ 20 capped at 2.1%
- Changes to non-residential Land & Buildings Transaction Tax proposed, which (it is suggested) will result in lower LBTT charges than at present in 2/3rds of future non-residential transactions
- Tourist tax ruled out
- Higher rate income tax threshold frozen at £43,430 (the rest of the UK will see this rise to £50,000 from next April, widening the tax disparity for high earners between Scottish taxpayers and everyone else)
- Scottish income tax rates unchanged
- Public sector pay: 3% pay rise in 2019/20 for those earning under £36,500; increases for those earning over £80,000 capped at £1,600
- Upward revision to GDP forecasts for Scotland; 1.4% projected for 2018, 1.2% for 2019.
The Budget Bill will be debated in Parliament in the new year; further changes may follow before it is enacted.