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Commission on Local Tax Reform

– in the Scottish Parliament on 21st January 2016.

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Photo of Jean Urquhart Jean Urquhart Independent

2. To ask the Scottish Government whether it will provide an update on the action that it is taking to take forward the proposals of the commission on local tax reform. (S4O-05285)

Photo of Marco Biagi Marco Biagi Scottish National Party

The First Minister established the commission on local tax reform, jointly with the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities, to examine options for the future of local taxation. Before the end of the current parliamentary session, the Scottish Government will introduce plans for the reform of local tax, which will reflect the principles of the commission’s report.

Photo of Jean Urquhart Jean Urquhart Independent

Can the minister at least declare today that this will be the last year of the unfair and regressive council tax?

Photo of Marco Biagi Marco Biagi Scottish National Party

The Scottish Government is very proud of the effect that the council tax freeze has had in mitigating the unfairness of the council tax. It is noticeable that a commission that included representatives from the Scottish National Party, Labour, the Lib Dems and the Greens—not a group that easily finds agreement—declared that the council tax is an unfair tax and that it hits those on low incomes the most. I would therefore express some caution to anybody who calls for a rapid end to the council tax freeze or the use of council tax when it has been observed by all those people to be an unfair way of raising revenue.