January 2011; Should Scotland freeze Council Tax at the expense of local services?

Thank you to everyone who took part in my most recent e-consultation:

Should Scotland freeze Council tax at the expense of local services?

This question has yielded the highest response rate to date and the closest result, so clearly a hot topic! With more than 340 replies the results were:

  • 53% in favour of freezing the Council Tax
  • 47% against freezing the Council Tax

Common arguments in favour of a Council Tax freeze included:

  • Most households are feeling the pinch as the cost of living rises, so Council Tax should remain at the same level to relieve the pressure
  • Many feel that Council Tax is already high, and not good value for money as it stands
  • Services could be cut instead, and the choices about which could be informed by a public consultation

Common arguments against a Council Tax freeze included:

  • Councils are under intense financial pressure to maintain frontline services – paying a bit more is preferable to losing local services
  • It makes sense for Council Tax to increase as the things Councils buy are going up by inflation
  • Council Tax could be allowed to rise but with a cap to give confidence that there wouldn’t be excessive hikes

Many thanks to everyone who voted, and particularly to those who replied with comments. This week East Dunbartonshire Council is setting its budget for the next year, and you can see the relevant reports and papers here: http://bit.ly/gniWt2The Council meeting is open to the public, so if you are interested you can go along on Thursday at 6pm to the Council offices at Tom Johnson House in Kirkintilloch.

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