Scottish Labour sets out its plans for local government

Written by Kate Shannon on 10 January 2017 in News

The party called for an overhaul of the tax system 

Ballot box

Ballot box - Picture credit: PA

Scottish Labour today launched its vision for local government, calling for an overhaul of the tax system to “rescue” the country’s public services.

Deputy leader Alex Rowley said today’s generation of Scots have the chance to “shape the provision and future of care services” and give young people a better future.

Ahead of May’s council elections, the party says it wants an overhaul of the tax system to make it fairer and more progressive.


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Rowley said: “By publishing a national vision of local government, we want to use these next few months in the lead up to the local council elections to encourage a discussion across Scotland about public services.

“Our vision for local government is of strong local councils with the powers and capacity to make things happen. You cannot control and run local public services from Holyrood, just as you cannot plan and deliver local infrastructure from Holyrood.

“After ten years of promising to get rid of the council tax, and failing to do so, it is fair to now put the ownership of the unfair, failed council tax squarely at the door of the SNP.

“We are clear: we would abolish the SNP council tax. It was unfair in 2007 and it is just as unfair today

“We do not have to wait until the next Scottish general election to end the SNP council tax. Labour signed up to the SNP commission on local taxation in good faith. I appeal to Finance Secretary Derek Mackay to think again and agree with that commission when it said that council tax was unfair and it had to go.

“Labour would introduce a fairer system which would mean 80 per cent of households across Scotland would pay less than they do today.” 

The party’s plans include: 

  • A 50p top rate of income tax for the richest one per cent in society.
  •  Scrapping the council tax and introducing a fairer system where 80 per cent of households pay less.
  • A basic rate of income tax 1p higher than that set by the Tory UK government

Scottish Labour is the first party to launch its plan for local government ahead of this May’s council elections.

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