SNP Plan Will Help Low Income Households and Raise Money for Schools
The SNP’s proposals for reform of council tax have been described as “significant improvements” by think-tank the Resolution Foundation.
The report finds that the SNP’s proposals “improve the proportionality of the system” and would see a “progressive revenue increase”, with the reforms raising £100m for investment in schools annually.
Adam Corlett, Economic Analyst at the Resolution Foundation, said that SNP plans “would see a £100m tax increase with the richest tenth of households accounting for half of the extra tax take while lower income families would on average face a negligible tax rise."
He added that “some low income households would actually be better off after the changes, and increasing the take-up of Council Tax Reduction would further reduce the impact on these families.”
The SNP plans would also see council tax bills lowered by an average of £173 for 77,000 low income families with children.
In contrast, Labour’s plan for a council tax revaluation could lead to considerable increases in bills for families on modest incomes. When a revaluation was carried out in Labour-run Wales, four times as many households ended up paying more than paying less.
Commenting, Kenneth Gibson said:
“This expert analysis shows our council tax reforms are indeed progressive and a significant improvement on the current system and will generate £100m more each year. We'll invest that in our schools, with the money going straight to head teachers giving them the flexibility to decide their school's own budget priorities.
“When Labour were in government, council tax bills went through the roof - up 75% in the decade before 2007 in North Ayrshire - and now they propose a system that would see many families with modest incomes hit by a potentially devastating tax rise.
“The SNP has frozen the tax, helping households through tough times with an average Band D saving of over £1,550 since 2008 and now we’re improving it. Under our plans, those in the most expensive properties will pay proportionally more than they do just now which the Resolution Foundation agree makes the system fairer, whilst across all bands, the average council tax will still be lower than the average in England."