Magazine article Public Finance

Scottish Government Ditches Controversial Local Income Tax

Magazine article Public Finance

Scottish Government Ditches Controversial Local Income Tax

Article excerpt

The Scottish Government has abandoned Its controversial plans to introduce a local income tax during the current Parliament.

The surprise U-turn was announced by Finance Secretary John Swinney during a debate on the 2OO9/10 local government funding settlement in Holyrood on February 11.

Opposition parties attacked the decision as 'the biggest retreat in the history of this Parliament'. It was also called a 'gross betrayal' of voters who had bached what was the Scottish National Party's flagship manifesto commitment at the 2007 election.

Swlnney blamed the abandonment on a funding cut of ESOOm to be imposed by Westminster next year and an Inability to win enough support from the other parties.

He added: 'We cannot put together a stable majority to enable us to steer detailed local income tax legislation through this Parliament.

'The Cabinet has therefore decided not to introduce legislation to abolish the unfair council tax and replace it with a local income tax until after the election in 2011. …

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