Nicola Sturgeon has no excuses left and should commit to a 50p tax to invest in schools, Labour said today.

Yesterday HMRC confirmed they will use their powers to ensure people pay their taxes. Shadow Scottish Secretary Ian Murray said that the SNP’s excuses on tax avoidance are now “wafer thin”.

The SNP leader has said that not having powers over tax avoidance is her reason for not reversing George Osborne’s tax cut for the 1%. However, the Scottish Government analysis the SNP base their position on does not address in detail the issue of tax avoidance.

Speaking at a campaign event in Edinburgh, Labour’s Shadow Scottish Secretary Ian Murray said:

“Nicola Sturgeon is using smoke and mirrors to justify not backing a 50p top rate of tax. When schools and local services across Scotland are facing hundreds of millions of pounds of cuts the SNP will not ask some earning over £150,000 a year to pay a penny more in tax. That’s not the mark of an anti-austerity party.

The SNP excuses on tax avoidance are wafer thin – their own analysis does not address this issue in detail and HMRC has confirmed that it will rigorously enforce compliance with tax laws around residency.

A fairer Scotland shouldn’t be in thrall to the rich and powerful. Nicola Sturgeon must back a tax on the richest to protect the services the poorest rely on most.

Labour would reverse George Osborne’s tax cut for the wealthiest few so we can stop the cuts and invest in our future instead. Faced with the choice between cuts to public services or using the powers of the Scottish Parliament, Labour will use the powers.”