HUMZA Yousaf has said he will consider introducing wealth taxes if he becomes the new leader of the SNP.

In an interview with the Daily Record, the Scottish Health Secretary said he would look at raising cash from land, renewable energy projects and higher income tax for the better off in order to raise money for more generous welfare benefits.

He said the plan would be discussed at an anti-poverty summit which would mark his first meeting as first minister should he be elected to the position.

“For me the choice is a pretty stark one. We can either continue to build on that progressive agenda and legacy that has been left behind by Nicola and John Swinney, that has helped us to become the largest political party by quite some distance in Scotland, or we roll back and we don’t make progress”, Yousaf said.

He added: “I think some of Kate’s policies that target economic growth and some of her other policies, particularly around the equality agenda, I think jar with those that are on the centre left.”

Last week, statistics showed that one in four children live in poverty in Scotland although these covered the period before the full roll-out of the Scottish Child Payment.

Yousaf said that his first act as first minister would be to hold a summit with anti-poverty groups.

He explained: “The very first meeting I would have would be a roundtable with those organisations because I have many ideas around how to tackle poverty.

“I want to make sure that they are also feeding into the first minister directly on day one. And that’s certainly the way I would want to continue governing, to listen to those organisations, to listen to those who represent people that have lived experience of poverty.”

He said that he is sympathetic to raising taxes on income and wealth, targeting high earners and companies making record-breaking profits.

“Various poverty organisations say the government has to be bold around, not just taxation, but potentially wealth taxes, and that’s something I am committed to looking at.

“I’ve been a supporter of a windfall tax for a long time. So those industries where they are making billions of pounds of profit, I think there’s a way of making sure that some of that profit is reinvested back into communities.”

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On a land value tax on big estates, Yousaf said: “I want to start the leadership with a really open mind about how we can use our devolved powers to maximum effect.”

He also told the Daily Record he wanted to create another band of income tax on earnings at some point between £43,662 and £125,140.

With revenues raised, this could fund increases to the £25 a week Scottish Child Payment, Yousaf said.

Asked if he was a socialist, the Scottish Health Secretary said: “Yes, I believe absolutely in the redistribution of wealth.

“I don’t have a problem with saying that. I think those that are the wealthiest, those who earn the most should absolutely pay the most in society, particularly for our public services.”