“THINGS are better in Scotland” due to Holyrood’s use of devolved powers over tax and benefits, a leading financial journalist and BBC radio host has said.

Paul Lewis, who presents BBC Radio 4’s Money Box, said in a column for the Radio Times: “I once coined the acronym Tabis – Things Are Better in Scotland – as a shorthand for the forward-looking social policies of that country. And it gets truer all the time.

“Over the past 25 years devolution has given Scotland limited but growing independence over its social security and tax policies. And they are better.

“The Institute for Fiscal Studies reckons the poorest tenth of households in Scotland are £580 a year better off than if they lived in England.”

Lewis noted that people who have annual incomes of more than £27,850 will pay more in tax than if they lived elsewhere in the UK, but added: “You get more for that.”

He pointed to free prescriptions, Social Security Scotland listing 13 benefits that are better in Scotland or do not exist at all south of the Border, and disability payments “based on an assessment procedure said to be fairer and more in tune with disabled people”.

However, Lewis said that in Wales the differences were fewer because the devolved government there “has so far not used its powers to change income tax, and it has no powers over social security payments”.

READ MORE: Scottish Government to spend £8.6m to mitigate UK benefits cap

He finished: “Anyone moving from England or Northern Ireland to Scotland or Wales should make sure they are aware of these differences. It could make them better off.”

SNP depute leader Keith Brown commented: "Tabis! Excellent."

Responding to praise from the SNP’s Ahsan Khan, Lewis wrote on Twitter: “I first coined Tabis for my book where so many benefits, tax, law, and education policies I described in it were better than the corresponding ones in the rest of the UK.

“You can find out more and buy the book here: http://bit.ly/3VwITp6.”