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Scottish MPs vote to keep income tax in line with UK

Income tax in Scotland will remain in line with the rest of the UK. Credit: Danny Lawson / PA Archive/PA Images

Scottish MPs have voted to keep the country's income tax rate in line with the rest of the UK for 2016/17.

MSPs at Holyrood were voting to set the new Scottish rate for the levy for the first time under changes brought in as part of the 2012 Scotland Act.

Labour and the Liberal Democrats in Scotland wanted the rate to be increased by 1p, saying such a move would raise almost £500 million for education and local services.

But MSPs backed Deputy First Minister John Swinney's proposal by 74 to 35 for the Scottish rate to be set at 10p in the pound for 2016/17, keeping income tax the same on both sides of the border.

In short Scottish tax payers will see no increase in their income tax next year. That is the right decision. It is a decision that takes into account the challenges that are faced by members of the public.

– Deputy First Minister John Swinney

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Two people die while climbing in Scottish Highlands

The pair went missing while hiking in the Scottish highlands Credit: PA

Two climbers have been killed while hiking in the Scottish Highlands.

The pair, who are both thought to be male, were found dead on the side of Stob Coire nam Beith mountain.

Police Scotland said a search was launched on Saturday afternoon, but the pair were found dead.

Andy Nelson, leader of the mountain rescue team involved, told BBC Scotland that he understood the pair had been killed instantly by a fall.

"The guys were roped together, so it is possible they were still on the climb but they have clearly fallen some distance," he said.

"They had all the relevant equipment and there is nothing to suggest that they were ill-equipped or inexperienced."

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