by Rona Mackay
The Scottish National Party welcomed the results of the YouGov poll in the Scotsman newspaper today, which finds that 75 per cent of people support the continuation of the council tax freeze, with only 19 per cent opposed.
Finance Secretary and SNP candidate for Perthshire North John Swinney said: “This is an excellent poll, showing that re-electing the SNP Government reflects the priorities of the people of Scotland. The SNP’s policy to freeze the council tax for the whole of the next parliament is hugely popular across Scotland, and is a vital boost for household budgets at a time when other bills are going up due to soaring fuel costs and Westminster’s VAT hike.
“Taken together with the council tax freeze we have already delivered, the SNP’s freeze until 2016 will mean savings of over £1,200 for the average household – and relative to income benefits lowest income families most.
“Labour, by contrast, have consistently voted against the freeze and attacked it until their recent humiliating U-turn to copy SNP policy. Labour are only talking about a freeze this year and next – which they haven’t costed properly, and no-one believes. As the party which increased council tax by 60 per cent when they were in office, people know Labour can’t be trusted on local tax.
“The SNP will not bring local income tax forward in the 2011-16 Parliament. Over the period of the next parliament, we will consult with others to produce a fairer system based on ability to pay – which clearly carries popular support – and put this to the people at the 2016 election, by which time Scotland will have more powers over income tax, as well as Council Tax Benefit resources transferred to Scotland. Our 2007 policy was to have a 3p LIT by subsidising it from the centre by £450 million.”