Water discounts for people who live alone at risk
A proposal to scrap the single person’s discount for water charges is still under consideration, the Scottish Government has confirmed.
However, Ministers are not planning to review the Council Tax discount granted to people who live alone.
There had been claims in the national press that the SNP planned a `tax raid on middle class Scots’with Council Tax discounts for single occupancy and empty homes under threat.
At Holyrood this week , Mid Scotland and Fife Tory Alexander Stewart questioned the Scottish Government’s Minister Kate Forbes on the matter.
Ms Forbes said the Scottish Government had no plans to review the single person discount for Council Tax but, in relation to water charges, indicated there would be further research into the proposal.
A consultation on water services provision last year argued there was no service-related cost justification for providing discounts for single occupancy or empty homes as drainage costs were not dependent on the number of occupants in a property.
Mr Stewart said: “Many of my constituents across Stirlingshire rely on that discount and any allowance such as this is particularly important for pensioners on fixed incomes.”
An SNP spokesperson accused Mr Stewart of scaremongering.
“The SNP Government offers assistance to households on low incomes with charges for local services,” she said. “The Council Tax Reduction Scheme means that 500,000 households across Scotland have had their Council Tax reduced or eliminated entirely.”