FM must reach out to others to devise fairer system of local taxation
At the first First Minister's Questions of the new Parliament, Patrick Harvie MSP, Co-convener of the Scottish Greens, signalled the Greens' intention to pursue a fairer system of local taxation.
Mr Harvie challenged the First Minister's failure to scrap the Council Tax, highlighting a pledge by the FM to implement the recommendations of her independent poverty advisor, which included being bold on local tax reform.
Patrick Harvie said:
"Not only did the Scottish Government fail to respond as promised to poverty advisor Naomi Eisenstadt's report before the end of the last Parliament, but the continuation of the discredited Council Tax goes against the advisor's recommendation to be bold. Naomi Eisenstadt described an opportunity to introduce a much more progressive system, yet we heard again today from the First Minister a misplaced belief in tinkering at the edges of a broken system.
"Given the evidence from the Commission on Local Tax Reform, which called for the council tax to be scrapped, and the pledge to implement the Poverty Advisor’s recommendations, the First Minister must reach out to other parties in Parliament to devise a new system of local taxation that is fair, flexible and locally determined. Public services delivered at local level are being unfairly squeezed, and the lack of an accurate, proportionate tax is harming our local democracy."
"Scottish Ministers do believe that the current system of local taxation is unfair" (Scottish Government website)
Report from Naomi Eisenstadt, Independent Advisor on Poverty and Inequality