SNP council tax plans face vote
The Scottish Government will seek concessions from Greens to pass proposed changes in the council tax
Council tax demand - Flickr
Scottish Government plans to raise the top four bands of council tax will be put to the vote tonight amid claims they are not radical enough.
A parliamentary business motion lays out the proposals to adjust the council tax so that those who live in the most expensive houses pay more, with the additional £100m funds raised going into a central pot to pay for schools.
Opponents claim this tinkers with a local taxation system the SNP once pledged to scrap.
Because the party no longer has a parliamentary majority, the plan is only likely to succeed via an opposition party amendment, with Scottish Greens Andy Wightman’s one the most likely to succeed.
It accepts the changes but commits the Scottish Government to agreeing to further talks on reforming the system altogether.
The Scottish Government proposes putting up bands E-H while keeping bands A-D the same.
Band E will go up by 7.5 per cent, Band F by 12.5 per cent, Band G by 17.5 per cent and Band H by 22.5 per cent.
Finance Minister Derek Mackay says the plans will lead to a "fairer" system of local taxation.
However the Commission for Local Tax Reform concluded that a more progressive system was needed, and in March the Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPICe) said: “While the Government’s proposals make the Council Tax more proportionate than the present system, they fall short of making the Council Tax a ‘proportionate’ tax.”
In September the Government only narrowly escaped defeat on the issue when Labour leader Kezia Dugdale’s vote failed to register.
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The Local Government and Communities Committee published a report following their inquiry on the subject