Rishi Sunak is calling on Holyrood to follow Westminster's lead and give eligible firms 75% off business rates bills to "drive growth".

The Prime Minister told journalists on a visit to RAF Lossiemouth "those tax cuts will benefit Scottish families, will benefit Scottish businesses", as well as calling on the Scottish Government not to introduce another income tax band.

It's been widely reported that one of the measures being taken to plug the £1.5b black hole facing Holyrood ministers is an additional tax band for those earning more than £75,000.

Should that be implemented, it would further increase the divergence between Holyrood and Westminster on income tax.

Economists at the Fraser of Allander Institute estimate this will only raise an additional £41m .

Currently, anyone on around £28,000 already pays more in Scotland than they would in England, while a worker on around £50,000 pays about £1,550 more in income tax north of the border.

On the visit to the Moray base, Sunak said: "I know the cost of living remains the most important challenge facing families in Scotland and across the UK. We are determined to do everything we can to help families with that.

"That’s why cutting their taxes is important, and that’s what we are committed to do."

'Cheeky' Sunak

However, Deputy First Minister and Scottish Finance Secretary Shona Robison hit back at Sunak, saying he has "a bit of a cheek" to criticise Scotland after being hampered by the autumn statement.

She said: "Sunak has a bit of a cheek pitching up in Scotland to say anything given his autumn statement is deprioritising public spending. It is a tough budget, but within those tough choices, what we have done is prioritise the investment in public services.

"That is something the UK government has not done. Our values are first and foremost about how we sustain our public services."

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