Council Tax System

Part of Question Time — Scottish Executive – in the Scottish Parliament at 2:30 pm on 6th March 2003.

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Photo of Andy Kerr Andy Kerr Labour 2:30 pm, 6th March 2003

No, I do not agree with the member. The real-terms increase in council tax levels since 1997-98 is 12.9 per cent. I congratulate 30 out 32 of our local authorities for maintaining the indicative levels for their council tax increases.

I do not support the tax system that the member wants to introduce, which would undermine accountability and lead to fiscal flight. Two people on the average wage would pay more under Tommy Sheridan's scheme, which would ignore the assistance that council tax benefit gives people in need. His system would be unstable, unsound and complex, and the tax would be expensive to collect.

The council tax system delivers for Scotland's communities. It delivers a tax that is easy to collect and that allows our local authorities to provide valuable public services.