Alba Party Call Out Labour Party’s Council Tax Rise Hypocrisy

Alba have called on Anas Sarwar to confirm all ten Labour run Councils will freeze Council Tax next year

Alex Salmond’s Alba Party have called on Anas Sarwar’s Labour Party to put their money where their mouth is and commit that Labour-run Councils will freeze Council Tax next year.

Alba’s call comes as the Labour Party seek to make political capital out of proposed increases to Council Tax bands - despite every single Labour-led Council opting to increase Council Tax this year.

Under new Scottish Government plans 1 in 4 households will see council tax soar. A consultation document published last month suggested the Scottish Government and local authority body Cosla were preparing to increase council tax on properties in band E or higher on a sliding scale rising from 7.5% to 22.5%.

The move would mirror a similar initiative in 2017. The consultation on changes to council tax rates will conclude on 20th September.

However, Alba Party have now called out what they say is “blatant hypocrisy” of the Labour Party who are “on one hand demanding the Scottish Government don’t increase Council Tax but on the other hand Labour Councils are increasing Council Tax for hard-pressed families year on year.”

Alba Party are the only party in Scotland that want to see Council Tax frozen, a policy that was introduced by Alex Salmond’s Scottish Government in response to the 2008 global financial crash. Alba say that the current situation for many Scots is even worse so any increases of Council Tax during a cost of living crisis will likely push more households info poverty.

Commenting Alba Party General Secretary Chris McEleny said:

“Labour have opposed changes to Council Tax bands by stating that 108,200 households in the poorest 30% of Scotland live in band E or above properties, while just 23,060 of these households received a council tax reduction, leaving between 80,000 and 85,000 vulnerable to the increase.

“But every single Labour run Council in Scotland made the decision to increase Council Tax this year for these very households and most are already planning further increases next year. Between 1999 and 2007 Scots saw an increase of their Council Tax under Labour by about 40% and that’s exactly where Scotland is heading again. Thankfully when Alex Salmond’s Government came to power we saw the common sense Council Tax Freeze policy brought in but sadly the Scottish Government no longer support this position.

“There are ten Councils in Scotland that are run by the Labour Party. Anas Sarwar could today dispel any suggestions of hypocrisy by confirming that the Councils his party control will freeze Council Tax next year. If Labour Councils choose to increase Council Tax again then the public will see that their opposition to increases to upper bands seems to be less about the substance of the issue and more about reeking of political opportunism.”

“Substantial increases to Council Tax during a Cost of Living Crisis are counter intuitive- but so are any increases to Council Tax across all bands. In 2008 Alex Salmond’s Government responded to the financial crash by protecting household budgets through a fully funded Council Tax freeze - that is what the current Scottish Government should be committing to in next weeks programme for Government.”

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