Thousands of members of the Armed Forces community in Scotland will not be affected by tax rises introduced this year by the Scottish Government.
The Ministry of Defence unveiled plans to compensate troops with an annual payment covering the tax hike. This will ensure they pay the same income tax regardless of where they are deployed or where their families live in the UK. The plan will protect around 8,000 serving personnel, nearly three quarters of all Armed Forces personnel liable to pay Scottish Income Tax.
The financial mitigation measures will be payable to all regular personnel who pay Scottish Income Tax, regardless of where in the world they are serving. Payments will range between £12 and £1,500. The payment will cover Armed Forces for the 2018/19 tax year and will be made retrospectively. The scheme will be reviewed annually.
The move is thought to help with recruitment and retention. Many of those helped by the MOD’s plan are personnel with specialist skills, such as aircraft and submarine engineers.
Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said:
“It is completely wrong for the brave men and women of our Armed Forces to be punished for serving in Scotland by unfair raids on their pay packets by the Scottish Government.
“That’s why we have taken this urgent action to ensure that our troops are treated equally and fairly.
“I’m proud that the UK Government recognises the sacrifices our Armed Forces make across the United Kingdom and the world, and that today we can reassure our service personnel that they will not be left hundreds of pounds out of pocket because of decisions taken by the Scottish Government.“