Scottish Labour leader plans income tax hike for middle class

Ms Dugdale is expected to call on the SNP government to use its powers to counter Tory cuts Credit: PA

Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugale has put forward a proposal that would see wealthier Scots pay more in income tax than their English counterparts.

Ms Dugdale has called for an extra 1p on income tax, rising to 41p for higher rate tax payers, in a bid to raise £500 million for Scottish public services.

The proposal also envisages a £100 "cashback" for those earning under £20,000, taken from the money raised.

It comes amid a row between the Scottish leader and dinance secretary John Swinney, who Ms Dugdale has criticised for slashing spending on local councils.

Ms Dugdale is expected to call on the SNP government to use powers already available to Holyrood to increase income tax from April this year.

She is expected to say: "Given the choice between using our powers or making cuts to our children’s future, we choose to use our powers.

"We will tear up this SNP budget that simply manages Tory cuts and instead use the power we have to set the Scottish rate of income tax one pence higher than the rate set by [Chancellor] George Osborne.

"We don't do this because we want to use the powers for their own sake.

"We do it because there is no other alternative to cutting into our nation’s future."