Council Tax hike of48% price of rebelling

Clydesdale's Council Taxpayers face a massive hike of almost 50 per cent in their bills if South Lanarkshire Council defy the Scottish Government over its annual budget.

The Finance Secretary John Swinney
The Finance Secretary John Swinney

It would have seen the average B Band monthly payment rocket from £117 to around £170.

However, the Gazette understands that SLC has decided that imposing such a huge rise in one swoop would be just too much for families to bear and will bite the bullet of cutting around £32m of services instead.

South Lanarkshire, like all Scottish councils, took part in a crunch meeting last week with Scots Finance Secretary John Swinney to hammer out the final details of what their Scottish Government funding would be for the coming financial year.

The Finance Secretary John Swinney

On hearing the initial figures two months ago, SLC leader Eddie McAvoy predicted dire consequences for local services.

A fortnight ago Moray Council appeared to reject the Scottish Government subsidy to freeze the Council Tax, however, they have since climbed down and will maintain the tax freeze.

It appears that SLC studied the consequences of staging a similar revolt but discovered that it would require a stonking 48 per cent rise in Council Tax bills to make up the financial difference if it rejected Holyrood’s subsidy.

One Clydesale SLC councillor, who asked not to be named, told the Gazette: “There was no way the council was going to slap a 48 per cent increase in local Council Tax bills the year before the next council election.

The Finance Secretary John Swinney

“Folk would be up in arms and there were fears there would be tax strike like there was when the Poll Tax came in.”

The council is due to set is formal budget for the coming year - with the required cuts - at a special meeting on February 24.

The council is sticking to its policy of no compulsory redundancies amongst its staff.