Monday, 18 April 2011

Council Tax

This morning the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (Cosla) has singled out the council tax freeze, a key election policy for the SNP, Labour, Liberal Democrats and Tories, as unaffordable and says it will be blocked by council chiefs.

This is a welcome intervention that reinforces UNISON Scotland's long standing view that the Council Tax freeze is unsustainable. Not only does the £70m payment not cover the full cost of the freeze, but councils are forced to put up charges for services to plug the gap. These charges can be more regressive than the Council Tax and have wider consequences. For example, refuse uplift charges will inevitably lead to more fly tipping, causing wider environmental concerns in many communities.

The Council Tax freeze may buy short term electoral popularity, but its long term consequences will be felt by us all.

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