FABIANI WELCOMES PROGRESSIVE REFORM TO COUNCIL TAX

PLANS WILL SEE LOCAL AUTHORITIES MORE FINANCIALLY ACCOUNTABLE WITH PORTION OF INCOME TAX DEVOLVED

Linda Fabiani MSP 1East Kilbride MSP Linda Fabiani has today welcomed the Scottish Government’s plans for an ambitious, progressive set of reforms to the Council Tax, which will see the rates paid by those in the highest bands pay more. That money will then be invested in schools across the country.

As announced by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon:

  • rates paid by those in Bands E, F, G and H will be adjusted, which will generate £100 million to be invested in education.
  • Reforms will provide additional support for those on low incomes – with low income families across all bands seeing an extension of the council tax reduction scheme, benefiting 77,000 families by an average of £173 per year
  • 54,000 people on low income families – more than one third of which are pensioner households living in higher band properties, will be entitled to an exemption from the changes through the council tax reduction scheme.

The SNP has also been clear that if re-elected in May, councils will be consulted on the assignment of a portion of devolved income tax raised in Scotland. This will reduce local authorities’ reliance on funding from central government and make councils more accountable to local people. It is estimated that when the planned changes take effect, 75 per cent of local government funding will be locally grounded.

Linda commented:

“The First Minister’s council tax announcement will make the system not only fairer, but more progressive, too, with those who can afford to pay a bit extra, doing so. That money will then be invested directly in schools.

“Those living on the lowest banded properties – A, B, C and D will pay no more than they do now. For the people of East Kilbride, that means over 78% of households will either be paying the same or less. It is most welcome that when the council tax freeze is lifted, councils will only be able to increase the tax by a maximum 3% a year.

“Support for low-income families will be available across all tax bands as the council tax child allowance will increase by 25%, benefiting 77,000 low income households by an average £173 next year.

“I am really pleased with the announcement that if re-elected in May, the SNP will consult with councils on a bold plan to assign a portion of devolved income tax. Our local authorities will then be more financially accountable as 75% of their funding will be locally grounded and the other 25% coming from central government. That is a huge shift which I am sure most councils will welcome.

“The changes are fair, progressive and sensible, and I am sure the people of East Kilbride will support them.”

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