NICOLA Sturgeon said the SNP will not raise the top rate of tax in Scotland in case the rich leave for England.

The First Minister set out the SNP tax plans freezing the basic, higher and additional rate at the same level as the UK.

She decided not to follow the Chancellor and increase the higher rate threshold to £45,000, instead increasing it from the current £43,000 only in line with inflation.

Ms Sturgeon and Finance Secretary, John Swinney, laid out their tax plans in Glasgow at the Royal Hospital for Children.

She said she would not allow a big tax cut for the rich to hit the amount of tax raised to spend public services.

Before the General Election last year, the SNP position was to support the re-introduction of the 50p top rate, with the First Minister stating it was right that “those with the broadest shoulders should pay more”.

However fearful of the richest leaving Scotland to avoid higher taxes Ms Sturgeon and Mr Swinney have decided to set the top rate the same as the rest of the UK.

She said she believed it should be introduced across the UK.

She said: “If 6% of highest earners chose to relocate it would raise no extra revenue. If 7% were to do so it would lose revenue. She added it would be “irresponsible” to take that risk.

Ms Sturgeon said no tax payer would pay more under the SNP plans.

She said: "We will not allow our public services to pay the price of an inflation busting tax decrease for the highest earning 10% of the population."

HMRC estimate that 17,000 people in Scotland are liable for the additional, it is estimated that if 1300 of them left the country the tax take would be smaller.

Labour said the SNP had “bottled out of taxing the richest more.

Scottish party leader, Kezia Dugdale, said: “A year ago, the SNP said they would support a 50p tax rate on people earning more than £150,000 a year – the top 1% of earners.

“Even on this change which would see the most well off bear more of the burden the SNP have bottled it.”

Scottish Tory leader, Ruth Davidson said: "Nicola Sturgeon has confirmed today that she wants to make Scotland the highest taxed part of the United Kingdom.