Swinney right to drop local income tax plan

February 11th 2009

Commenting after the SNP Government dropped its local income tax policy, Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) General Secretary, Grahame Smith said:

"This is the right decision for Scotland. But like many organisations, STUC opposed the introduction of a Local Income Tax on the basis that the current Council Tax should be reformed to make it more sensitive to the ability to pay.

"The Scottish Government could meet many of its objectives by moving towards reform of the current band system limits whereby a £400,000 household currently pays only three times the rate of a £40,000 house. A new banding system is needed with a wider range of top and bottom bands and a change in the multiplier rate between bands.

"If the SNP is committed to delivering more fairness in local taxation it should now seek consensus for reform across the parties in the Scottish Parliament. If however, this move constitutes a "clearing of the decks" - jettisoning unpopular policies in preparation for a referendum on independence - it will be judged a cynical ploy which the Scottish people will not easily forgive."

ENDS

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