The council tax is discredited and must be scrapped

Responding to proposals from the First Minister to adjust council tax, Andy Wightman, Local Government spokesperson for the Scottish Greens and MSP candidate for Lothian, said:

"Reform of local tax is essential. Our councils have been side-lined and punished by central government for many years. Now that we have a fiscal framework between the UK and Scottish Governments, we need a similar agreement between the Scottish Government and councils so we can rebuild trust in local government.

"The council tax freeze has damaged local services, cost jobs and affected important community facilities. It's hard to see how today's proposals from the First Minister will arrest that decline. The Scottish Government has endorsed a regressive tax structure in clear contradiction to their claims to want to be progressive with tax powers. 

"Without a re-evaluation of property values, the council tax is a nonsense. I took part in the Commission on Local Tax Reform, which found that half of all properties in Scotland are currently in the wrong band for council tax. Getting an accurate picture of property values is fundamental to any reform.

"The council tax is discredited and must be scrapped. Scottish Greens will campaign unequivocally on this. We need a bolder Holyrood with more Green voices to deliver real reform. In the coming weeks we will announce details of our proposals."

And responding to the announcement of a consultation on assigning councils a share of income tax, and a consultation on taxation of derelict and vacant land, Andy said:

"Assigning a share of income tax continues to focus on what people earn from their work, when we should be targeting the appalling wealth inequality in our society by taxing property and land, and it continues the trend of central rather than local control.

"Taxing derelict and vacant land is something Scottish Green MSPs have pushed for in the Land Reform Bill and will continue to do so. It is clear that Green pressure has resulted in this issue being pushed up the Government's agenda." 


Council tax reform (Scottish Government)

Scottish Greens' response to Commission on Local Tax Reform

This Could Be Home - Scottish Greens campaign to tax derelict and vacant land