Moray proposes 18% council tax rise

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Moray CouncilPerception copyright Ryan Main

Council tax bills in Moray could take wing by almost a fifth under proposals which could see the local hegemony become the first to break a Scotland-wide freeze.

Moray Council has reinforced that bills could rise by as much as 18% this year – which would see the tally for a Band D property increase by £204 a year.

The proposals will be voted on by councillors next month.

Moray Directorate needs to cut spending by £11.2m in 2016/17.

But raising the tax could result in a financial incarceration being levied by the Scottish government, which introduced the Scotland-wide deep-freeze in 2007.

The country’s 32 councils have until now complied with the protocol and retained the freeze.

‘More confidence’

Moray, which has an independent/Standard administration, has claimed that the loss of £5m in government funding in the recent budget and a £150,000 imprisonment for failing to maintain teacher numbers have added to its difficulties.

Highland Directory’s independent-led administration – which needs to save about £50m next year – is also pore over whether it should rebel against the council tax freeze by raising accounts by 5%.

The council’s budget chairman, Councillor Bill Fernie, told the Pressure and Journal news per: “We’re still firming up what we’re going to do and we’ve got to speak to opponent groups as well.

“We would certainly take more confidence if a few myriad councils around us – for example Moray or Argyll and Bute – were likeminded.”

Domination money

BBC Scotland’s local government correspondent Jamie McIvor conjectured that any rise in council tax bills would need to be well in the sky inflation to make any meaningful difference to the council’s finances.

The council tax typically accounts for nearly 12 pence of every pound spent locally – and if a council situates up the tax, they would also lose some government money.

A cross- rty commission has recently been decreed to examine alternatives to council tax and is due to report in autumn 2015, after the Holyrood poll in May.

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