Thursday, 2 May 2013

Unison brands council tax freeze 'unfair on poor households'

2 May 2013

The Herald also reports on UNISON's new figures...

by Magnus Gardham

"THE country's biggest trade union has launched the most comprehensive attack to date on the Scottish Government's long-running council tax freeze, claiming the policy has been unfair on poorer households.
"Public sector union Unison said wealthy households – those in Band H homes – were saving £441 per year as a result of the freeze, compared with £147 for those in the cheapest Band A homes.
"In a report, the union flatly rejected Scottish Government claims that the policy was a "lifeline" for hard-up Scots and called for a debate on its future. Council tax bills have been frozen each year since 2007 when the SNP first took power at Holyrood.
"The freeze was originally intended as an interim measure until the Nationalists promised local income tax could be delivered, but the proposal enountered fierce opposition and has remained on hold.
"Councils have been threatened with mutlimillion-pound penalties if they refuse to keep freezing bills. Alex Salmond has claimed it is part of a "social contract" with the public to keep bills down in tough economic times...."
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