LOTHIAN MSP SAYS CUTS MUST PROMPT COUNCIL TAX REFORM
Alison Johnstone, Green MSP for Lothian and local government spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, today (5 Nov) urged ministers to make reform of the council tax an urgent priority.
Ms Johnstone used Finance Questions at Holyrood to raise growing concerns among communities where council cutbacks have prompted parents to pay for basic school equipment, and where leisure facilities face being axed.
The Scottish Green MSPs published ideas earlier this year for renewing local democracy, including restoring local tax raising powers, something other European towns and districts take for granted.
Alison Johnstone MSP said:
"When we see local authorities cutting budgets already pared to the bone, putting leisure facilities and frontline services such as education at risk, we have to question the wisdom of seven years of a council tax freeze. This sticking plaster solution proved popular but is now undermining the services our communities rely on.
"Scots are more engaged in politics than ever and I believe they want to see fairer funding of properly empowered local government. Ministers cannot duck this issue any longer and must meet their commitment to consult with others on a way forward."
Eight sports centres face closure over funding cut (Evening News)
Education ‘no longer free’ as parents buy basics (Scotsman)
Renewing Local Democracy in Scotland (Report by Andy Wightman for the Scottish Green Party)