Proposed modelling for tax rates for higher earners: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002

Information requested

At FMQs on 13th December 2018, former First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said:

“I hear a member asking about top earners. We have raised the top rate, but all the assessment and modelling suggests that, because of behavioural changes, if we were to raise it further that could lose us revenue.”

Please provide the assessment and modelling referenced above by Nicola Sturgeon.


I enclose a copy of some of the information you requested in the attached document.

Some of the information you have requested is available online which I have included in Annex I. This includes the latest available analysis at the time, provided by the Scottish Government’s Chief Economist, which looked at the behavioural impact of an increase in the Additional Rate from 45p to 50p.

Under section s.25(1) of FOISA, we do not have to give you information which is already reasonably accessible to you. If, however, you do not have internet access to obtain this information from the websites listed, then please contact me again and I will send you a paper copy.

You may also wish to note that the responsibility for forecasting Scottish income tax receipts for the Scottish Budget 2018-19, including any behavioural responses to policies, lay with the independent Scottish Fiscal Commission (SFC). On their website, the Commission provides a range of resources explaining their approach to forecasting receipts. I have included the most relevant links in Annex I. In particular, Table 3.11 of the SFC’s report published alongside the Budget 2018-19 shows that, at the time, the Commission noted that forestalling might result in revenue losses in 2018-19 for incremental changes in the Top rate that went beyond 1p.

Annex I: List of online publications

Scottish Government

Scottish Fiscal Commission (SFC)

About FOI

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FOI 202400392398 - Information Released - Annex


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Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
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