Commenting on John Swinney’s Budget statement, Grahame Smith, STUC General Secretary said:
“There were few surprises today. This was a hold steady budget designed not to frighten the horses in advance of next year’s Scottish Parliament elections.
“Given the significant slowdown in Scotland’s economic and labour market recovery, the STUC accepts that SRIT should not be raised next year but we are, once again, very disappointed that serious reform of local taxation is avoided in favour of continuing the regressive Council Tax freeze. The scale of cuts being imposed on local government will mean significant pain for vulnerable people who rely most on local services, not to mention the hard pressed staff who provide them.
“The STUC welcomes the Cabinet Secretary’s commitment to setting out his long term plans for income tax and local tax reform early in the new year. It must be stressed that the Scottish Government simply cannot realise its social and economic ambitions without increasing total tax revenues over time. They already have powers, and will soon possess more, that will allow them to do so in a progressive fashion, continuing tax freezes therefore cannot be the long term strategy of this Government”.
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