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5 February 2009

STEVENSON DELIGHTED AS SNP SECURE FUNDING FOR CONTINUED COUNCIL TAX FREEZE

Banff & Buchan MSP Stewart Stevenson has welcomed today’s decision in the Scottish Parliament to pass the Scottish Budget, one week after Labour, the Lib Dems and the Greens voted it down endangering £1.8 billion of increased funding and putting thousands of jobs at risk.

The budget contains £70 million to fund a second year’s freeze in council taxes, without which council tax bills in Aberdeenshire would have to rise by around 17%. This represents a saving for band D council tax payers of £189.41 in Aberdeenshire.

Commenting, Mr Stevenson said:

“In the decade before the SNP came to power council tax rose by 93% in Aberdeenshire in year after year of council tax hikes.

“Although the Lib Dems were perfectly content to see this spiral of council tax increases return last week when they voted against the budget, I am glad that they have now seen sense and voted to put the necessary money in place for councils to freeze council tax for a second year.

“In the current economic climate, the last thing that people in Banff & Buchan need is a sharp increase in their council tax bills, and I know they would have been less than impressed at the willingness last week of the Lib Dems to expose them to that risk..

“Thankfully the SNP have now successfully convinced them to back this year’s budget, but residents of Banff & Buchan will not be quick to forget their previous actions”.
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