Council Tax hikes ‘an affront’ to local democracy

Council Tax increases to hit owners of larger homes.
Council Tax increases to hit owners of larger homes.

COUNCIL TAX PAYERS in Moray are being warned that a vote last week at the Scottish Parliament could see an increase in their annual bills going to improve services in other parts of Scotland.

Tax reforms being implemented by the Scottish Government will see those on the highest Council Tax bands paying more – with the SNP insisting that additional cash raised being used to improve education throughout Scotland.

Meanwhile Moray Council will continue to struggle to balance their budget over the forthcoming years, with across-the-board cuts in essential services looking certain.

After voting against the proposed changes, regional MSP Douglas Ross said: “The vote in Parliament last week will allow the SNP to increase council tax for those in homes banded E to H and they also plan to give local authorities the power to increase council tax by a further 3%.

“Myself and my Scottish Conservative colleagues were against the increase for those in bands E and F, a significant number of properties in Moray.

“The fact that local council tax payers will now see their bills increase in Moray but the money generated spent all over Scotland is an affront to local democracy and a further example of the SNP’s centralising agenda.

“SNP, Labour and Green MSPs united to push this change through and people should be in no doubt when they receive a hike in their council tax bill next year who they should address their concerns too. They should also ask these parties why Moray Council will have no extra money to spend locally from this increase.

“There are major challenges for our councils over the next few years but this decision on council tax will be seen by people in Moray as a cash grab.

“When we have many areas seeing budgets cut and services lost it seems incredible that an increase in council tax raised locally could all be spent out with Moray.”