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Council Tax freeze continues
Local authorities across Scotland last week confirmed that they will freeze council tax for the second year running.
Finance Secretary John Swinney said the decision by a majority of councils would provide vital relief for households at a time when the effects of the economic downturn are being felt across the country.
The remaining councils are expected to follow suit in the near future.
Every council which freezes Council Tax will receive a share of the £70 million set aside by the Scottish Government to compensate for the loss of increased council tax income.
Mr Swinney said:
"This Government is doing all it can to help families and households through these tough economic times.
"For that reason, we have put in place the resources for councils to freeze Council Tax for the second year running.
"I welcome the decision taken by local authorities across Scotland today to keep Council Tax at 2007-08 levels - and I am sure taxpayers will share that sentiment.
"We know that the punishing rises in council tax we saw before this Government came to power are the last thing that anyone who is struggling with domestic finances needs at the moment.
"Instead, working with our partners in local government, we are putting money back in people's pockets. Money that is crucial for families suffering as the recession begins to set in.
"Householders used to dread the day their Council Tax was set and I know across Scotland people are mightily relieved that this Government has finally done something about it. And we will continue to act by funding a freeze throughout the duration of this Parliament.
"This is all part of our stronger, more productive relationship with local government which has freed councils to focus on local priorities without having national government constantly looking over their shoulders.
"Of course a freeze does not change the fundamental unfairness of Council Tax and this Government remains committed to replacing it with a fairer local tax based on ability to pay.
"But a planned £1 billion cut in Scotland's funding from Westminster from 2010 to 2012 and the opposition of those who remain wedded to the current system have made change impossible in this Parliamentary term."
As of today, the Scottish Government understands that the following councils have frozen Council Tax for 2009-10:
- Aberdeen City
- Argyll & Bute
- Dumfries & Galloway
- Dundee City
- East Ayrshire
- East Renfrewshire
- Edinburgh, City of
- Glasgow City
- North Ayrshire
- Perth & Kinross
- Scottish Borders
- South Ayrshire
- South Lanarkshire
- West Lothian