On Council Tax changes, the ball is firmly in the SNP’s court
Andy Wightman MSP, Local Government spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, today (3 Nov) questioned the behaviour of the SNP minority Government for attempting to delete criticism of their plan to adjust rather than scrap Council Tax.
This afternoon, MSPs will debate a Scottish Statutory Instrument (SSI) enabling increases to bands E-H. It is anticipated that all opposition MSPs will support an amendment from Mr Wightman, which states that the Government’s plans "undermine the principle of local accountability and autonomy" and urges cross-party discussions to agree a replacement for Council Tax within the current five-year term of Parliament. The amendment does not block the Government’s Council Tax changes.
However, last night the Finance Secretary lodged an amendment to Mr Wightman’s amendment, aimed at deleting the criticism.
Andy Wightman, Local Government spokesperson for the Scottish Greens and MSP for Lothian, said:
"My amendment aims to put on record the serious concerns expressed across the political parties, local government itself and the public service unions. The changes planned by Scottish Ministers undermine local democracy by appropriating local funds for national purposes.
"Council Tax is discredited and must go and we have been clear that we are willing to work with the Government towards that. We have also been clear that their adjustments to Council Tax are better than nothing and our amendment does not block the passing of the SSI. The ball is firmly in the SNP’s court. It’s up to them whether they back their own policy or not.”