8,000 military personnel in Scotland are to receive back pay to compensate for income tax rise in Scotland.

We understand that this rise sees them pay more tax than their colleagues based elsewhere in the UK.

Since April in Scotland, anyone earning more than around £26,000 in Scotland has paid more income tax. The change meant around 70% of personnel based in Scotland were facing higher tax bills.

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said:

“It is completely wrong for the brave men and women of our Armed Forces to be punished for serving in Scotland by unfair raids on their pay packets by the Scottish government. That’s why we have taken this urgent action to ensure that our troops are treated equally and fairly.”

Scottish Government finance secretary Derek Mackay said:

“We are fully committed to supporting the armed forces community and armed forces families in Scotland benefit from services not available elsewhere in the UK, such as free school meals, prescriptions and eye tests, and tuition fee and living cost support in higher education when they are ordinarily resident.

It is disappointing that, despite making an offer to discuss the differential taxation of military personnel, the Scottish government has not been consulted on the proposal announced by the MoD.”

According to the BBC, people across Scotland who earn more than £24,000 pay 21% under the new system. Higher (£43,431 – £150,000) and top rates (earnings more than £150,000), have been increased to 41% and 46% (40% and 45% across the rest of the UK).

The financial mitigation measures will:

  • Be payable to all regular personnel who pay Scottish Income Tax, regardless of where in the world they are serving. Mitigation payments of between £12 and £1,500 will be paid.
  • Cover personnel for tax year 2018/19 and will be a single payment made retrospectively
  • The case for financial mitigation will be reviewed annually

Minister for Defence People and Veterans Tobias Ellwood said:

“Scotland, and military personnel who have made Scotland their home, play a key role in our nation’s defence. Whether it’s working on our nuclear deterrent, protecting NATO airspace, or building local security expertise in the Middle East, Scotland-based troops are engaged right now in protecting the UK and its allies.”

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Debbie wright

First of all 30% will pay less, the higher earners increase of 1p in the pound doesnt seem excessive when you remember their children will benefit from free university tuition amongst other things like free prescriptions. Our NHS performs way better than its southern counterpart.
Also are the lower paid staff in England being compensated for paying more tax?


Some figures. From £24,000 for 2018-19, intermediate rate at 21% up to £44,273. So at £27,000 that’s an extra £30 per year, £30,000 is £60 per year. “The current rates for soldiers starting each of these roles are: Recruits (in Phase 1 training) Private: £18,488 a year Lance Corporal: £25,524 a year Corporal: £29,768 a year Sergeant: £33,490 a year” So at the base scale Privates pay no more, and even if the top paid private with supplements is at £30,000, that’s an extra £30 per year. National Insurance is the same – it’s NOT devolved. Against that indeed “free… Read more »


Slight correction:
Over £11,850*- £13,850 Starter Rate 19%

So £2,000 at 1% less than the rUK rate = £20 less than the rUK, so it’s £26,000 where you pay more tax in Scotland, £27,000 = £10, £30,000 = £40 extra a year.

I need a cup of tea.


I came to Scotland. I don’t feel very welcome nowadays and I’m certainly not better off. Childcare for toddlers seems poorer than the city I came from south of the border. Refuse is strewn all over the streets and verges. The roads are in a worse state of repair. When my second daughter came in to the world we had to drive to the adjacent town because the maternity facilities were at capacity where we live – though the nurse was better. I read that the performance of the schools is declining, especially relatively to rUK, the buses are OK… Read more »


Sorry to hear that Nathan.


Principle of the matter. One shouldn’t have to pay anymore tax fighting for your nation no matter which part of the UK you call home. Hardly good for morale.


When you put the maths infront of everyone it shows why the Government loves taxing the life out of everyone through stealth taxes, ie VAT, Fuel Duty etc, it doesn’t get half the bad press a 1% increase in income tax would yet takes far more out of the tax payers pocket.


Yes, and even the pro-Indy newspaper stated it wrong, but the other way (or spin if you like). From this one though, the UKDJ article:

Since April in Scotland, anyone earning more than around £26,000 in Scotland has paid more income tax. The change meant around 70% of personnel based in Scotland were facing higher tax bills.

No they haven’t, and no they’re not, only compared to those based in the rUK. Up to £33,000 they actually pay the same as last year or less.