The fact that its concept of “local” meant a centrally set rate for the whole country – what most people would consider “national” – did not help in winning the support of others who supported abolishing the unfair council tax. However, rather than try to negotiate an agreement, perhaps with local rate variation brought in after the first few years, the SNP abandoned the idea completely, claiming there was “no consensus” in Holyrood for such a reform.
It is, though, difficult to understand why, with an absolute majority in Holyrood since 2011, the SNP should be now so reluctant to pursue the idea, preferring instead to allow the continuation of a system which hamstrings local government, reduces local accountability by increasingly centralising decision-making, and, as has been shown in several reports on council tax, disproportionately favours the better-off.
Jane Ann Liston
Member, North East Fife Liberal Democrats