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11 February 2009

STEVENSON WELCOMES SIGNIFICANT SAVINGS FOR BANFF & BUCHAN RESIDENTS AS SNP PLEDGE TO FREEZE COUNCIL TAX UNTIL 2012

Banff & Buchan MSP Stewart Stevenson has welcomed a commitment from the SNP Government that funding will be made available for a Council Tax freeze until 2012 – meaning that the average Council Tax payer in Aberdeenshire will save up to £246 over the four years of the SNP Government.

Finance Secretary John Swinney also reaffirmed that the SNP was determined to scrap the unfair Council Tax despite opposition obstruction, and will seek a majority mandate in 2011 to ensure the final abolition of the tax and the introduction of a system based on ability to pay which would ensure the biggest tax cut in a generation for low and middle income families the substantial saving.

Commenting, Mr Stevenson said:

“Under the SNP people will pay not a penny more in council tax in 2011 than they did in 2007. People across Scotland will have saved over £70 by this year and save even more in the years to come.

"In these tough economic times this is good news for hard pressed families and council tax payers. The SNP has already delivered its promise of a council tax freeze in its first year in Government and looks set to achieve a continuing freeze for the coming year.

"That and this new pledge of a council tax freeze for the full term of the Parliament goes way beyond that promise and is good news for the people of Banff & Buchan. If the opposition had still been in power we would have seen council tax continue its steep climb upwards. In Aberdeenshire council tax rose by a massive 93% in the ten years before we came to power.

"If council tax had increased at the same rate that it did under the previous Labour/LibDem Executive, average council tax payers in Aberdeenshire would have been faced with paying an extra £246 by 2012.

“However, the system of council tax remains fundamentally unfair and the SNP are determined to see it finally abolished when we can secure the necessary parliamentary majority following the next Holyrood elections in 2011.”
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