November 4, 2023
At the Scottish Liberal Democrat conference in Edinburgh today, party members passed a motion calling on the SNP/ Green Government to strike a fairer deal for local authorities and to ensure that any council tax freeze is fully funded by the government to avoid further damaging cuts to local services across the country.
Scottish Liberal Democrats are calling on SNP/Green ministers to:
- Ensure that local authorities are fully compensated for any freeze in council tax next year;
- Rule out further cuts to local council grant funding and begin a process of reversing the cuts imposed over recent years;
- Scrap any further attempts to pursue their recent nationwide council tax increases on Bands E-H properties, should they re-emerge.
Leader of Edinburgh Liberal Democrat Council Group, Kevin Lang, who proposed the motion, said:
“The passing of this motion is a recognition of the crisis in local government caused by the SNP’s brutal cuts to council funding year after year.
“When it comes to council tax, no one knows where the SNP stand. They promised to scrap it back in 2007, then they consulted on raising it to record levels and now they’re freezing it. That astonishing volatility has made it impossible for local authorities to plan their finances.
“With the First Minister failing to consult local government leaders on his party’s most recent council tax announcement, the SNP showed utter contempt for councils and for both the Verity House Agreement and the European Charter of Local Self-Government.
“Going forward, if a freeze is to be imposed, councils will need to be compensated in full, otherwise ministers will be forcing them to axe vital services.
“More broadly, ministers must finally establish a proper deal for local government which will reverse years of cuts to budgets and ensure a fairer alternative to the council tax.”