Scottish Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale, Kris Chapman, has slammed the SNP’s failure to properly reform local taxes to make them progressive as the First Minister announces a mere adjustment in council tax bands.
“The SNP could have adjusted council tax bands nine years ago, which could have stopped Scotland ending up in the situation where we’ve had huge cuts to education, which has seen us slip down international education rankings,” said Kris. “Council tax is a regressive tax because it hits those on the lowest incomes the hardest as a proportion of their incomes. At best this minor change makes it just slightly less regressive, but it’s a million miles away from the vision of a progressive government the people of Scotland want.”
A key Scottish Liberal Democrat policy heading into the Holyrood elections is to spend an extra £475 million per year to give children the best possible start in life. This will be achieved with the implementation of the ‘penny for education’ policy.
Catriona Bhatia, councillor for Tweeddale West, sat on the Commission on Local Tax Reform, which unanimously agreed that the council tax has had its day. She commented, “Rather than tinkering with a discredited, unfair tax we, as Liberal Democrats, will be intent on looking at how we properly fund and support local services with a mix of taxes which are set locally by elected councillors rather than by diktat from this centralising Scottish Government.”