Ruth Davidson at odds with party leader as May signals tax rise to fund English NHS

Theresa May has signalled taxes will have to rise in order to help pay for increased funding for the English NHS.

The Prime Minister’s announcement that the NHS south of the border is to benefit from a funding increase of £20bn a year was tempered by news that income taxes will probably have to rise as a result.

The pledge puts the UK Conservative leader at odds with her Scottish lieutenant who has persistently attacked the SNP over the issue of tax rises.  Ruth Davidson has claimed tax rises will damage the economy.

Speaking in 2017, the Scottish Conservative leader said: “Jacking up taxes on working families and businesses in Scotland will damage the Government’s stated objective of getting the economy growing faster and of bringing in more revenue,”

Davidson added. “The biggest concern here is over the message that tax rises send out about Scotland’s reputation as a place which values ambition, that welcomes business and that want to grow.”

The Conservative MSP has also taken to social media to attack income tax rises, claiming the SNP was taking money out of the pay packets of nurses.  Davidson’s opposition to income tax rises and her attack on the SNP has also received widespread coverage within Scotland’s main stream media, including the BBC.

Speaking in May this year at the Policy Exchange in London, Ruth Davidson signalled her own softening of her stance on income tax when she gave a speech in which she suggested NHS funding should take priority over tax breaks for high earners.

She said: “My view is this: the UK Government has acted to reduce the tax burden on working families. It has honoured its promise to do so. Raising the income tax threshold has reduced taxes for millions of UK workers and has taken thousands out of taxation altogether.

“But the UK government has a choice to make.  And, if that choice is between extra spending on the NHS or introducing further tax breaks beyond those already promised, I choose the NHS.”

However Davidson stopped short of advocating income tax should rise in order to pay for the NHS.

The speech enjoyed significant coverage across the Scottish media with Davidson portrayed as taking on Theresa May.  The Policy Exchange speech also witnessed the Scottish Conservative leader launch another attack on independence, which featured on Reporting Scotland.

Many Scottish political observers will be interested to see if the media shows the same level of interest in Davidson now that her UK party leader appears to favour an income tax policy the Scottish Conservative leader has vociferously attacked via that same media.

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4 thoughts on “Ruth Davidson at odds with party leader as May signals tax rise to fund English NHS

  1. John

    Nicola will wipe the floor with her at FMQ , regardless of what the Scottish media do or don’t do , after the way Davidson and her sheep collectively slammed the SNP for introducing new tax bands to help fund the NHS . The reason she will need to introduce this herself at questions is because the Tory’s in Scotland will not be talking tax for the forseeable future , the same way they don’t talk about Brexit ! .

  2. Lochside

    Does it matter what this charaltan says about the latest con from May? The media will help her to rotate whichever face is required to pointing in whichever direction in order to protect her.

  3. grizebard

    Whit? The “Scottish” media challenge Ruth Davidson over another U-turn on taxation after her London boss tugs the puppet strings? In which parallel universe?

    We’ve had the beginnings of her re-positioning already, with Davidson “putting the NHS first” over taxation for the well-to-do. How gracious of her.

    She’ll be “interviewed” on telly and will just hammer on unchallenged as usual about how desperately bad the SNP are.

    And that’s going to continue until enough people start mocking her and her ever-helpful media enablers.

  4. Robert Graham

    I hope the Holyrood maintenance dept are reviewing their stocks of BRASSO ,

    Because lately Ruthless must have been stocking up on a daily basis , probably has a secret supply under her chair , or maybe she has a direct intravenous line so she cant be caught applying it to that Brass Neck of hers , it looks like a size 18 collar but i could be wrong , but still it looks pretty big.

    A wee thought all the Toerag bar-stewards must be liberally applying this stuff ,maybe thats why they continually make a lot of Noise and constantly thump the desk tops probably a side effect of Brasso . or whatever else they are on .

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