Scotland Election 2016

Holyrood 2016: UKIP manifesto pledges new 30p income tax rate

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Media captionThe manifesto was officially launched by UKIP leader Nigel Farage in Edinburgh

UKIP's Holyrood election manifesto has pledged to introduce a new 30p income tax rate for workers earning between £45,300 and £55,000.

Other policy commitments include reducing class sizes; repealing the Named Persons Act and allowing pubs to set up smoking rooms.

The party is fielding 26 candidates in the regional lists on 5 May.

The 32-page manifesto was officially launched by UKIP leader Nigel Farage in Edinburgh.

The party - whose key aim is for the UK to withdraw from the European Union - said it believed that the current higher rate of income tax was now "out of date" and should not be levied on "middle-income earners such as school teachers and senior nurses".

Its manifesto said: "As soon as the budgetary implications of devolving income tax become apparent we will propose the introduction of a new intermediate tax rate of 30% on income tax ranging between £45,300 and £55,000.

"The higher rate of 40% will begin at the threshold of £55,000."

Image copyright PA
Image caption UKIP MEP David Coburn helped launch his party's manifesto

The party added that its long-term aspiration was to create an income tax structure of a basic rate of 20%; an intermediate rate of 30%, and a top rate of 40%.

UKIP also believed that business rates in Scotland should be lowered "allowing companies to reinvest the money back into growing their business and creating jobs".

In other pledges the party said it would:

  • "push every local authority in Scotland" to offer at least 30 minutes free parking in city and town centres, high streets and shopping parades
  • put the drink driving limit back to 80mg per 100ml of blood - the same as the rest of the UK
  • re-introduce grammar schools and create high quality universities; further education colleges; apprenticeships and technical schools
  • support research into GM foods, including looking at the benefits and risks involved to the public
  • guarantee the offer of a job in the police service or prison service "for any Scot who has served in the Armed Forces for a minimum of 12 years"
  • repeal the Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Scotland) Act 2012.
  • and make a criminal offence the setting up of an unauthorised traveller site

'Fighting for more devolved issues'

UKIP's key driver is focused on Britain quitting its membership of the Euroepan Union.

Mr Farage argued that leaving the EU would give MSPs control over key areas such as fishing and agriculture, which are currently governed by Brussels.

He added: "Ironically we are the only party fighting for Scotland to have more devolved issues, because it is only by leaving the European Union that Holyrood will take control of Scottish fishing and Scottish agriculture, being perhaps the first two clearest examples.

"So we are the independence party in Scotland.

"If you believe in an independent United Kingdom where Scotland has growing autonomous powers, if you believe in the independence of the individual from an over-wieldy state, then put people like Coburn [candidate David Coburn] in Holyrood."