The Scottish Greens say tonight’s vote in Parliament by SNP and Tory MSPs to duck reform of the unfair, outdated Council Tax means households and communities will continue to pay the price.
The Greens brought a motion which called for the present system to end, that its replacement should be progressive, and for the Scottish Government to convene a cross-party group before the Summer to forge a way ahead.
SNP and Tory MSPs outvoted the Greens, Labour & LibDems to replace this wording to instead claim that Council Tax has been made “more progressive”.
Andy Wightman MSP, Local Government spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, said:
“Next week, a fairer system of income tax kicks in following Green pressure. It’s disappointing that SNP and Tory MSPs have squandered the opportunity to make similar progress on local taxation, as during the debate it was clear that there is appetite across the parties to give local councils greater control over taxation. We’ve passed up a chance to scrap the hated Council Tax and begin work to replace it with a progressive alternative.
“Green MSPs cannot enter into discussions over the next Scottish budget if the minority SNP government continues to stall on local tax reform. Council Tax is outdated, most households are paying the wrong amount and it restricts local authorities’ ability to fund rising demand for services.
“We should be grasping the nettle on this, and working across parties to create a fair and locally-controlled system that helps our communities. For years, Greens have put forward ideas and have been willing to engage, but it seems households and communities will continue to pay the price for the intransigence and obstinacy of the SNP and the Tories.”