Ahead of the Scottish government budget we analyse options for raising additional revenue to protect public services and fund the strengthening of the social security safety net that people in Scotland want to see. We find that each additional £100 million the Scottish budget needs could be raised by adding just half a percentage point to the higher and top rates of tax.

The Scottish government has made bold progressive pledges including ending child poverty and developing a minimum income guarantee. Our previous reports have set out the roles of social security, public services and fair work can jointly deliver these objectives. In this report we set out options available to the Scottish government to fund these pledges.

At a time of economic turbulence, protecting those on the lowest incomes is more critical than ever. We show how additional revenue can be raised without increasing taxes at the lower end of the income spectrum. Our proposals are highly progressive, with tax increases concentrated among the highest 10 per cent of earners.

Over the longer term, reforms to taxation in Scotland are needed to address inequality. We recommend a review of income tax, and reform of the outdated council tax.