Ellie Ames 18 October 2023

‘No agreement’ with Scottish councils to freeze council tax

‘No agreement’ with Scottish councils to freeze council tax image
Image: Altopix / Shutterstock.com

The decision to freeze council tax across Scotland was made ‘completely without reference to local government’, according to council bosses.

First Minister Humza Yousaf announced at the SNP conference yesterday that rates would be frozen in the next financial year, with the freeze fully funded by Scottish Government ‘to ensure councils can maintain their services’.

The Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA) said they were unaware of the decision before the announcement.

There was ‘real anger’ about the handling of the decision in an emergency meeting of COSLA’s political group leaders this morning, the organisation has said.

The COSLA presidential team said today: ‘We deplore the way the announcement was made and its substance, both of which fly in the face of the Verity House Agreement which we all recently signed.’

Mr Yousaf said: ‘The Scottish Government remains wholly committed to the Verity House Agreement, and as part of that are continuing work with COSLA on a new fiscal framework for local authorities.

‘We are also working on longer term reforms to the council tax system, which are being considered by the working group on local government funding that we are chairing jointly with COSLA.’

COSLA bosses said they would explore the implications of the announcement in a meeting with Scotland’s deputy first minister today, adding: ‘but we are clear that local taxation and particularly council tax should be left for democratically elected councils to determine.’

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