An open letter to John Swinney.

Dear Mr Swinney,


I am writing to complain about the new Scottish Land an Buildings Tax.


This is the first time in my life when I have taken the time to write to a MSP. Please do not think that I am anti-taxation. I have long advocated that if you want a first class health service, then you need to pay for it. I would happily add a penny on to the general level of taxation in order to support the NHS. I was also a supporter of the 50% tax band for those earning over £150000.


I gladly pay my taxes, as I believe in society, and that in order to have good public services, you have to pay for them!!


I consider the new Scottish Land and Buildings Tax to be grossly unfair and geographically discriminatory. It replaces an existing unfair tax with an even more unfair tax. Why on earth did you think it was fair to levy a tax of 10% on all values over £250000?


I appreciate the need to help 1st time buyers (though the level at which the duty is exempt until is hardly an improvement on the existing situation). Everyone above £325000, which you deem to be a level where people are "rich" enough to merit levying more tax on them, will pay more, and those buying houses above £500000 will face an eye watering difference between the 4% currently levied and future revenues.


As you are hopefully aware, family houses are hard to come by for under £325000 in Edinburgh and Aberdeen. A lot of "hard working families", to use the current parlance, have to mortgage themselves up to the hilt in order to buy a house suitable to bring up a family in.


I cannot fathom why you don't apply a 5% rate on monies above £325000, then 6% above £400000, 7% above £500000 etc. This would be much more equitable, and wouldn't put everyone in the same tax band!


There is another solution to helping people on the property ladder. Why don't you build more affordable social housing? Yes, there's an intial capital outlay, but the return over the years can be recouped and reinvested (something that Thatcher clearly didn't understand).


I hope in time that you will change, or refine, your new tax. Otherwise, I hope you are punished in the polls for levying something so clearly unfair.


Just for your information, I am a home owner who is not thinking of moving....if I had thought to, I would certainly not do so after April next year!!


Yours faithfully,


Garry Walker