THE architect of the SNP’s economic plans for independence has hit out at the party’s plans to raise income tax on high earners.

Andrew Wilson served as the chair of the Sustainable Growth Commission and has claimed hiking taxes on the well-off poses “deeply serious risks” to the economy.

The Scottish Government earlier this week unveiled plans to create a new “advanced” rate of income tax of 45% on income between £75,000 and £125,140.

The creation of the new tax band, together with the increase in the top rate of income tax, will raise £82 million next year, the Finance Secretary said.

But Wilson, who served as the party’s finance spokesperson in the early days of the Scottish Parliament, said the changes should be reversed to “prevent material damage” to the economy.

The Sustainable Growth Commission published its findings in 2018 and recommended keeping the British pound after independence, introducing strict spending limits to reduce the deficit and paying an annual “solidarity payment” to the UK.

Other former members of the commission hit out at the Budget on Twitter/X, including businesswoman Marie Macklin (below) who claimed Scotland was “en route to being a third-world economy”.

The National:

She added: “The Scottish Parliament has not created a fair distribution of wealth through its government’s policies after long debates day after day wasting our money.

“The political incompetence is creating a volatile economy. You wouldn’t give some of these MSPs a job.”

READ MORE: Cuts will mean job losses and stretch councils to 'breaking point', Cosla says

Former SNP MP Roger Mullin also criticised the Budget, which will deliver deep spending cuts in some areas of the state. The Scottish Government argues that "difficult choices" were made as its block grant from the UK suffered a real-terms cut.

“The Budget is certainly not helpful in terms of growth,” he said. “We need to prioritise growing the economy and the measures in the budget do not do that.”

Kate Forbes (below), who lost out to Humza Yousaf in the SNP’s leadership election earlier this year, told Good Morning Scotland: “I think the key mission for Scotland has got to be investing in jobs and expanding the working age population in order to increase public revenue.

The National: Kate Forbes

“That’s a far more successful route to increasing public revenue than purely increasing tax rates.”

Finance Secretary Shona Robison said the Budget was delivered in the toughest economic circumstances in the history of devolution – pointing to high rates of inflation and historic austerity from Westminster.

She said spending had been prioritised on areas such as the NHS and social security benefits.

Robison told MSPs: “Asking those with more to pay more is the right choice.

“It is a choice rooted in our values and it is in stark contrast to the tax and service cuts of the Tory Party.

The Scottish Trade Unions Congress also welcomed the income tax rise, saying in a statement: "With Westminster induced pressure on public spending in Scotland, we're pleased that the Scottish Government has listened to the STUC and introduced a higher rate of tax for those on higher incomes. This represents a markedly positive approach which should be recognised."

The Greens have also said the Budget was “progressive” and “puts people and planet first”.

Lorna Slater, the party’s co-leader, said: “It is a progressive budget that continues to build for a better future despite facing the very many challenges of the now and without the full powers independence would clearly provide.”