And so it begins…

So the other day I was watching Newsnight Scotland, and Gordon Matheson was going on about how he felt Glasgow City Council had to put up council tax. He said that doing so wouldn’t “cost the government a single penny” and that it would be fairer than the current council tax freeze, which applies to everyone and isn’t “means tested”

Aside from the fact that a rise in council tax would result in either increases to the number of applications for council tax benefit, increasing both the council’s costs, and the total welfare budget of the UK (or more defaulters, resulting in a rise in the council’s costs, and the justice budget rising as more people are taken to court), the second point that the council tax freeze is not means tested, that is particularly  cretinous.

As I’m sure you are aware, council tax is also not means tested, it is paid based on the value of your home, had it been sold in April 1991, with councils normally splitting these into valuation bands.  This means that a single mother of two, with a three bedroom flat will be liable for the same amount of council tax, as the three recently graduated students who share the flat across the landing from her.

What’s more council tax doesn’t really take into consideration the size of the property, so if her two children leave for university and she decides to get a one bedroom flat, she may find that it actually costs her more.

If Gordon Matheson, and any of his other Labour colleagues who agree with him,  truly want a means tested method of paying for our muncipal services then they should support the SNP’s calls for a Local Income Tax.

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