Dunfermline Press

Opposition to tax increase

- By Jamie Sinclair editorial@dunfermlin­epress.co.uk

FIFE Liberal Democrat Deputy Leader, James Calder, is set to lead the opposition to proposals to put up council tax on higher band properties.

A consultati­on on potential changes to the council tax system is currently running until September 20.

But the proposal to increase the amount paid by people in bands E, F, G and H has attracted opposition from the Scottish LibDems, who say it would see bills rise for 45,056 households across Fife.

Under the Scottish Government’s plans, the LibDems say the increases would range from £136.50 to £763.58.

And they add that the Labour administra­tion has advocated increases of up to £407.30.

The paper detailing the Council’s response to the consultati­on is to be discussed at the Council’s Cabinet Committee today (Thursday), with the LibDems seeking changes to the responses.

Councillor Calder said: “Households in Fife have been hit by one thing after.

“The SNP and Greens don’t seem to understand that many cannot afford these enormous tax increases at this time.

“With Labour in Fife also backing big council tax increases, the Liberal Democrats are saying enough is enough.

“Instead of hammering household finances this time, the SNP/Green government need to start properly funding local services.

“The SNP hasbeen in government promising to abolish the council tax for 16 years.

“They also need to find a solution to the unfair council tax system instead of embedding it with these proposals.”

Under the proposals in the consultati­on, 715,312 households across Scotland would see council tax rises.

Scotland currently has 2,562,357 chargeable dwellings.

This means 28 per cent of households would be hit by an additional council tax rise on top of any yearly increase.

Speaking at the launch of the consultati­on, the Scottish Government Public Finance Minister Tom Arthur urged Scots to submit their views as part of the consultati­on.

He commented: “We have listened to calls for the council tax system to be made fairer, as presently more of the burden falls on those in the lower bands when considered as a proportion of the value of their property.

“The changes would only affect around a quarter of properties and even after they are taken into account, average council tax in Scotland would still be less than anywhere else in the UK.

“We know that many people are struggling with their finances and our council tax reduction scheme is there to ensure nobody has to pay a Council Tax bill they cannot be expected to afford, regardless of what band they are in.

“I would encourage anyone who has views on these proposals to complete our consultati­on before it closes on 20 September, to help us determine if they should be taken forward.”

The consultati­on can be found at https://www.gov.scot/ publicatio­ns/ consultati­on- fairer-council-tax.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United Kingdom