Nippy Nicola fights off Tory attack on SNP’s increased tax for Services
MSP Maurice Corry, Royal Navy personnel and Nicola Sturgeon.
By Lizzie Healey
Helensburgh-based MSP Maurice Corry received short shrift from the First Minister when he asked her to join him in welcoming the “excellent announcement from the Prime Minister that the men and women in our armed forces, who serve in Scotland on a tour of duty, will now receive financial recompense from the UK Government as a result of the increase in the tax rate that the Scottish National Party imposed last year”.
Nicola Sturgeon slipped swiftly into Nippy Sweetie mode when she told the Holyrood parliament: “I was wondering which welcome announcement from the Prime Minister the member was going to ask me to welcome.
“The Tories talk about more highly paid members of our armed forces who, because of our progressive income tax system, pay a little bit more tax in Scotland, but we do not hear the Tories talking about the estimated 37,000 lower-paid Ministry of Defence personnel in England who now pay more tax than their counterparts in Scotland pay.
“Interestingly, I have not heard any suggestion that the Tories will compensate them for the fact that they are paying more tax in England than they would pay if they were based here in Scotland.
“I also do not hear the Tories saying that they will compensate MOD personnel in England for the free prescriptions that their counterparts in Scotland get, or for the access to free education that those who are ordinarily resident in Scotland get, which those in England do not get.
“MOD personnel, along with every public sector worker in Scotland, get a far better deal than their counterparts in England get. The Tories should reflect long and hard on that.”
Meanwhile, the FM’s SNP colleague, Rona Mackay, asked: “Theresa May offered her own resignation in an attempt to win support for her [Brexit] deal, but even that does not seem to have been enough.
“Does the First Minister think that it is high time that the Prime Minister accepted that her deal is finished and that article 50 should be revoked to put a stop to the chaos?”
The First Minister replied: “Yes. It seems that, apart from Theresa May, the only people who do not see that her deal is completely dead are the Scottish Conservatives. It is time to move on to better options, and I have made clear my views on a people’s vote.”
She added: “I think that, with one exception, all the Scottish Tories voted in a way that suggests that they would prefer a no-deal Brexit to revoking article 50. “That is inexplicable, given that we know the damage that a no-deal Brexit would do to Scotland, and it is yet another example of the Tories being way, way, way out of sync with Scotland’s national interests.”