Council Tax Freeze : "Devastating effect on key public services" - MSP

 

A Highlands and Islands Regional Labour MSP is contacting all six local councils in a bid to gauge the level of financial chaos which will be caused by a freeze in council tax to be forced upon them by the SNP minority government.

Peter Peacock fears the measure to force Councils to freeze their local taxes could have a devastating effect on key public services such as education and social work and will prevent local councils responding effectively to local needs.

"Unless a freeze on council tax is backed up with additional Scottish Executive funding then council services will have to be reduced to balance the books.

"The SNP is playing fast and loose with council services and this is yet another example of an inexperienced government not thinking through their policy pronouncements and landing everyone in potential difficulty.

"The policy has been ill thought out," said Mr Peacock.

Mr Peacock is asking the council leaders directly to assess the effect of a budget freeze on their plans for local services.

"Everyone would like to pay less tax, but generally not if that meant reductions in their children’s or grandchildren’s education, or reductions in home care services and the like.

"Many people rely upon council services, such as day care for the elderly and nursery provision, these people should not have to suffer as a result of a headline seeking policy.

"The SNP are in the midst of creating a financial headache for local councils instead of guaranteeing more support for services at grass roots level," he said.

 

18 September 2007

 

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