The SNP says a report by the Institute of Fiscal Studies which concludes Scotland’s tax and benefits system is more progressive than the rest of the UK is a compelling argument in favour of independence.
On Thursday, MSPs will vote on the proposed Scottish tax bands for the next financial year, which would increase taxes for higher earners.
And the IFS think tank reports that policies introduced in Scotland since 2017, such as changes to the benefits system, have particularly increased the incomes of poorer families with children.
Amongst the poorest 30%, Scottish reforms are set to raise the incomes of households with children by around £2,000 per year on average, the IFS said.
Research economist Tom Wernham said: “The Scottish Government has used devolved income tax and benefit policy to make the system more progressive, as well as to raise more revenue to fund public services. These changes imply big increases in income for poorer households with children.”
Commenting on the IFS report, SNP MSP Christina McKelvie said:
"This confirms what I've always known: the SNP operate with compassion, designing and implementing policies that help those that need it.
"Evidently, this is done responsibly, only implementing policies that are fully costed, whilst maximing their efficacy.
"Thus, we have a tale of two governments. The Scottish Government, which operates within the constraints of Westminster opposed austerity, that focusses their work and attention on the areas that need it the most. On the other hand, there is a Tory-led Westminster government which focusses on lining their own pockets, scraping the barrel to fill ministerial vacancies and letting down the vast majority of people across these islands. It is also clear that the Tories down south have absolutely no willingness or ability to acknowledge Scotland and her people, nevermind listen to them.
"This most recent IFS study is just yet another compelling argument for independence. If this is what we can achieve whilst shackled economically to Tory austerity, imagine what we could achieve and provide for the people of Scotland with full fiscal autonomy? It's time for our nation to take her next natural step, and that's a step into the halcyon lands of independence."