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Tax policies of the SNP and DUP

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The Scottish National Party’s proposals

Key tax policies include the devolution of further tax powers to Scotland, including the devolution of national insurance, support for the reform of VAT, reduction in employers’ NIC and the doubling of the employment allowance to £6,000 per business per year.

Key tax policies:

  • Demand the devolution of further tax powers.
  • Back a rise in the national insurance discount businesses receive (the employment allowance), increasing it from £3,000 to £6,000 per business per year.
  • Back plans for a freeze on national insurance contributions and VAT.
  • Support reform of VAT, including the continuation of VAT-exemption on essential items like children’s clothes, hold the UK government to a commitment to remove VAT from sanitary products and press the UK to keep pace with the EU and scrap VAT on e-books and e-journals.
  • Back a reduction in employers’ national insurance contributions.


  • Encourage reform of the UK excise duty structures and a fairer tax for Scotch whisky, and seek UK government investment to improve the whisky industry’s connectivity and sustainability, including funding for low carbon projects.
  • Devolution of national insurance to Scotland and make sure that the rates and thresholds fit devolved income tax rates.
  • Continue to demand the UK Government refunds the £175m in VAT owed to Scotland’s emergency services.

Environmental measures:

  • Campaign for the re-design of vehicle and tax incentives to support industry and business investment in zero emission and sustainable transport choices (such as reduced VAT on bicycles and additional incentives for businesses and individuals to use ultra-low emission vehicles).
  • Campaign for tax incentives to enable people to make the switch to low carbon heating systems more affordable.
  • Campaign for a reduction in VAT on energy efficiency improvements in homes, ending the Treasury’s 20% tax on making people’s homes warmer and greener.
  • Press for plans to quadruple the VAT on home solar to be scrapped.

Other measures:

  • A levy on technology companies to fully fund the regulator and associated resources to protect children from online harm.
  • Support a freeze in further insurance premium tax hikes to ensure consumers aren’t penalised for taking steps to reduce risks.
  • Continue to support tax incentives for creative industries, including for film and television, and for more work to increase equality, inclusion and diversity across the sector.

General measures: Back improvements to tax collection and tougher action on tax avoidance, including:

  • A review of the closure of HMRC offices in Scotland and across the UK,
  • Immediate action, including reform of Companies House, to uncover the beneficial ownership of Scottish limited partnerships, other companies and trusts
  • Measures to improve the transparency of tax paid by international companies to ensure that they make a proportionate contribution to tax revenues, multilateral efforts to address tax challenges from the digitalisation of the economy,
  • Further action by the UK government to tackle international tax avoidance,
  • Full implementation of the 5th anti-money laundering directive and introduction of a fit for purpose online retailer tax.
  • A review of the tax rules around intermediaries (IR35) and problems with implementation of the loan charge.
  • A comprehensive inquiry into the digitisation of tax, to uncover the reasons for HMRC and UK government delays to the tax payments system.

The Democratic Unionist Party’s proposals

Key tax policies include support to increasing the employment allowance to £4,000, introducing time-limited capital allowances and zero rating domestic electricity and gas, sanitary products and new electric vehicles for domestic use.

Key tax policies:

  • Keep corporation tax rates under review.
  • Increase the employment allowance to £4,000.
  • Introduce time-limited capital allowances for businesses.


  • Develop a long-term plan between government, industry and universities to increase research and development in the UK to 3% of GDP.


  • Reform the tax treatment of conacre land, so that there is a greater incentive for land owners to release land for productive farming.

Other measures:

  • Maintain the freeze in fuel duty.
  • Abolish domestic air passenger duty.
  • Zero-rate sanitary products.
  • Reduce insurance premium tax by 1% every year of the parliamentary term.

Environmental measures:

  • Zero-rate new electric vehicles for domestic use and reducing VAT rating for new hybrid cars.
  • Zero-rate domestic electricity and gas.

Private client measures:

  • Key policies include support to raising the national insurance allowance to be in line with the personal tax allowance and scrapping the tapered annual pension allowance. The DUP will support policies that:
  • Raise national insurance allowances to match personal tax allowances over the next parliamentary term.
  • Scrap the tapered annual pension allowance and review the annual allowance for defined benefit schemes.
  • Increase the personal tax allowance in line with inflation each year.
Issue: 1468
Categories: In brief , DUP , general election 2019 , SNP