S4M-14008: Poorest 10% Paying 45% Tax

21 Aug 2015

That the Parliament notes the conclusion of recent research conducted by the Taxpayers’ Alliance that, in 2013-14, the poorest 10% of households paid an average of 45% of their gross income in taxes; further notes the finding suggesting that VAT is the most burdensome tax for households in the lower half of the income scale, while income tax is the most burdensome for people on higher incomes; notes the view that those with the broadest shoulders should bear the greatest burden, and believes that, if the poorest in society pay 45% of their income in tax, it cannot be said that the UK tax system is progressive.

S4M-13966: Chief Executive Pay

17 Aug 2015

That the Parliament deplores the findings of a recent study by the High Pay Centre, which suggests that the average pay of a chief executive in FTSE 100 companies is 183 times that of an average worker; understands that average executive pay jumped from £4,129,000 in 2010 to £4,964,000 in 2014; agrees with the centre’s director, Deborah Hargreaves, that “pay packages of this size go beyond what is sensible or necessary to reward and inspire top executives”, and believes that reforms must be enacted to curb executive pay and to tackle income inequality.

S4M-13964: Internet Access In Deprived Communities

17 Aug 2015

That the Parliament notes the recently-published report by Citizens Advice Scotland, Internet Access in Glasgow’s Deprived Areas; understands that the data, which was collected in 2013, suggests that 70% of respondents were either unable to claim benefits online or would need help to this, 42% had never used the internet and 35% were unable to use a computer; understands that these figures are substantially worse in deprived areas, with half of the respondents having never used the internet and 40% being unable to use a computer at all; considers that, given the digitalisation of the welfare system, this relative lack of digital access for people living in such areas is particularly alarming; agrees with the report in its conclusion that considerable effort is needed to address this problem, and hopes that future policy initiatives, such as Digital by Default, will instead take consideration of the reported links between deprivation, age and ability to use the internet rather than exacerbate already difficult circumstances.

S4M-13914: Council By Elections

10 Aug 2015

That the Parliament notes the five council by-elections held on 6 August 2015 in the Glasgow Shettleston constituency and elsewhere in Scotland and that they all were won by Scottish National Party candidates; is disappointed at the low turnouts, including one of 14.5%; notes the belief in the system of proportional representation by single transferable vote, which takes account of both party preference and the importance of the individual candidate; is concerned that the present system of by-elections does not always produce a proportional result as it takes no account of the existing ward councillors, and notes the desire to find a better way of replacing councillors who depart during their term of office.