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14 November 2007

Budget Review Brings Historic Opportunity for Council Tax Freeze: More Good News and Tax-cuts for North-East

Banff & Buchan SNP MSP Stewart Stevenson has welcomed today's budget spending review by the Scottish Government which has opened the way for a historic council tax freeze in Aberdeenshire Council and throughout Scotland. This would effectively mean a tax cut for the people of the Aberdeenshire Council area.

The news came as John Swinney MSP, the Cabinet Secretary for Finance, made his announcement to the Scottish Parliament today, which included more good news for the the North-east.

Welcoming the opportunity for a historic tax freeze, Mr Stevenson said:

"In the 10 years since Labour have been in Government on their own or in coalition with the Liberals, council tax payers in the Aberdeenshire Council area have had to put up with an 85 per cent rise in their council tax.

"I am delighted that John Swinney has come to an historic agreement in partnership with COSLA over a freeze in council tax over the coming year.

"This meets the SNP's commitment to make life fairer and wealthier for the people of the North-east and I warmly welcome that."


Mr Swinney also announced that there would be a 50% cut in business rates for small businesses next year followed by a further 50% the year after with all businesses rated under £8000 paying no rates from 2010. Welcoming this boost for local businesses Stewart Stevenson said:

"As part of our wider economic strategy the SNP is determined to support the small business sector which had been let down under the Labour and Lib Dem administration.

"Small businesses drive the local economy, not least in Banff & Buchan. They are a source of entrepreneurship and innovation and create a huge number of jobs as 98% of all businesses are classified as small in Scotland

"The SNP Government's plans for cutting business rates are designed to target small businesses in Banff & Buchan and deliver meaningful help to them while at the same time benefiting the wider economy."
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