Council Tax rise no longer an option for Highland Council

Highland Council Leader, Councillor Margaret Davidson said: “The option to raise council tax in Highland has been taken away from us.

“We have been informed, if we raise Council Tax, we will be fined not just the 3% we expected but also other sanctions will be applied around teacher numbers and funding for social care. Cumulatively that would mean a fine of £18M. Hence we cannot responsibly raise council tax.

“In common with other local authorities across Scotland we feel disappointed and powerless as a result of the Scottish Government’s stance.

I regard this as a particular shame after years of good working relationships with the Scottish Government. I hope we can repair the rift in future, but it will require a reinstatement of respect and recognition of Local Government.

“Meanwhile, the Highland Council will continue with the now, even more difficult, task of delivering a balanced budget within the constraints that have been imposed on us.”

Bill Fernie, the Council’s Budget Leader said: “We continue to welcome input from the public and our political colleagues. We all need to pull together to prepare this budget for the Highlands.”

2 Feb 2016
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