Council tax cash row after SNP tackles Tories

By Clare GrantBy Clare Grant
By Clare Grant
With local government elections looming, an SNP MSP has claimed Lanarkshire residents are saving hundreds of pounds each year in council tax compared to residents in England and Wales.

Stephanie Callaghan says people in North and South Lanarkshire are paying an average of £708 to £733 less each year than they would in England and that the difference is more than £500 compared to Wales.

Band D taxpayers in North and South Lanarkshire pay £1258 or £1233 respectively while bands E to H are between £413 and £651 cheaper.

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Ms Callaghan, who represents Uddingston & Bellshill, said: “This this only goes some way in mitigating against the damage done by 12 years of Tory austerity.

“On top of the £150 council tax rebate announced last month by Finance Secretary Kate Forbes as part of the Scottish Budget, the Scottish Government is demonstrating it will do everything it can within its restricted powers and resources to keep as much money as possible in the pockets of Scottish families.

“The SNP Scottish Government is also rolling out a social security system based on fairness and respect. It has introduced the ‘game-changing’ Scottish Child Payment – which will deliver £25 per week per child for the lowest income families in Lanarkshire – and we are increasing a range of Scottish social security benefits by six per cent. All this lies in stark contrast to the Westminster Tory Government which callously cut vital Universal Credit support by £20 a week. This is a tale of two Governments and Scots will have the opportunity to send a message to Boris Johnson by rejecting the Tories in the local elections on May 5.”

However Conservative Central Scotland MSP Meghan Gallacher said: “It is rich of the local SNP MSP to talk this up, when it is her party who have imposed savage cuts on councils year after year during their 15 years in power. That has had a devastating impact on local services that our communities rely on a day-to-day basis. Research has found it is Scottish Conservative-led councils where council tax is lower than those led by the SNP and other parties.

“The local SNP MSP should recognise that these local elections are not a proxy vote on Boris Johnson but people’s local priorities.”

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