Shock figures show the effect an 18% tax rise can produce

Richard Lochhead - council tax increase would
Richard Lochhead – council tax increase would have shocking repercussions for Moray families

A SHOCKING TABLE published by Moray’s MSP has shown that the number of people in Moray with Council Tax arrears has more than doubled in the last six years.

Analysis of figures from the StepChange Debt Charity obtained by Richard Lochhead MSP shows that 40% of their clients in Moray report they are having problems meeting council tax demands last year – up from 18.9% in 2010.

The shocking statistics come as the Moray Council ruling administration have proposed an 18% increase in the tax, in defiance of the Scottish Government freeze.

Now the MSP has said he is concerned that many more household in the region would be facing very real financial pressure – and that imposition of the 18% increase would push them families further into debt.

Mr Lochhead said: “It is extremely concerning that the number of people from Moray approaching Step Change Debt Charity for advice and support to deal with council tax arrears has more than doubled in the last five years – and an 18% hike in council tax proposed by the Tory/Independent administration will only make matters a lot worse.

“The austerity agenda coming from Conservatives at UK level and the high cost of living means that families and households in Moray are really struggling, and these figures clearly show that household budgets are already over stretched for tax payers, many of whom will have not seen a pay rise for years.”

The MSP added that the Scottish Government commitment to freezing council tax has been based on an understanding of the financial pressure households were under.

He added: “Unfortunately, the Tory and Independent councillors running the Moray Council seem to be out of touch with the tough financial circumstances many of their constituents find themselves in.

“I can only hope that drawing attention to these figures can turn the minds of some Tory and Independent councillors to those in their communities who simply cannot afford an increase and reconsider this massive and unpopular tax hike.”

Data published by Step Change:

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