19 February 2016

Moray Council-Taxpayers Saved from 18% Tory Hike in Council Tax

Banffshire & Buchan Coast MSP Stewart Stevenson has welcomed the decision by the Conservative/Independent administration on Moray Council to back down after pressure and not to proceed with an eye-watering 18% increase in council tax levels.

Commenting, Mr Stevenson said:

“We have seen a pattern across the North-east recently of Tory politicians lining up to argue for increases in the rate of council tax. The former leader of the Tory coalition in Aberdeenshire Council has made no secret of his desire to hike up the council tax and his counterparts in Moray have now – thankfully – come to realise that the massive 18% increase they wanted to impose would have hit people very hard indeed.

“They completely miss the point that the reason the council tax is frozen in the first place is to help individuals and families through these times of Westminster-imposed austerity.

“The SNP on Moray Council put forward a series of very well-argued alternatives to the cuts being proposed by the Tories and Independents. It is disappointing that the Independents in particular – who always claim to be above party politics – reject sensible suggestions just because they happen to come from the SNP.”

SNP Opposition Leader on Moray Council Cllr Gary Coull commented:

© The Moray Council
Gary Coull
“What we saw from the Tory/Independent Administration was a poor excuse for a budget that was based almost entirely on the cuts offered up by council officers and barely an original thought from the Administration despite having had months to work on it.

“In contrast the SNP put forward an alternative budget that looked beyond the same old, same old cuts that are unsustainable.

“We are delighted that Moray’s taxpayers have been saved from a ludicrous 18% rise in Council Tax, which we have demonstrated clear alternatives to.

“I sincerely hope that the Council will take notice of those alternatives that we believe are proportionate and fair. If they don’t start using some of the blue sky thinking, which bizarrely they have criticised the SNP for, then they will lead Moray Council to bankruptcy.

“What Moray Council’s Administration lacks is the political will to challenge the status quo of service provision and unless the Council’s leader actually starts to lead then I fear they will take the Council over the edge of a financial cliff.”

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