Local Income Tax

Part of Question Time — Scottish Executive — General Questions – in the Scottish Parliament at 11:40 am on 7 June 2007.

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Photo of John Swinney John Swinney Scottish National Party 11:40, 7 June 2007

Mr Carlaw misjudges the situation. On my left and my right, I am surrounded by the former junior partners in the coalition, who enthusiastically support the local income tax and the abolition of the council tax. He should explore the new politics a tad further before he jumps to such conclusions.

To reinforce what the First Minister said last week, we do not support the Conservatives' proposal to discount the council tax for all pensioners, because it does not take into account the ability to pay. One of the fundamental points in the Government's approach to local taxation is that we want to make it affordable for everyone in Scotland and to relate it to the ability to pay. In the short term, we will concentrate minds on freezing the council tax and on moving to the abolition of the council tax and the introduction of a fair system of local income tax, which of course will require support for legislation from Parliament. I look forward to enthusiastic support for that legislation from those sitting on my left and my right.