Published: 25/11/2014 14:21 - Updated: 28/11/2014 13:17

Opposition Highland councillors to push for tax increase

Written byDonna MacAllister

 

Members of the opposition group who unveiled the proposal today
Members of the opposition group who unveiled the proposal today

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE opposition group at Highland Council is calling on the SNP-Lib Dem-Labour administration to raise council tax by five per cent.

Leader Carolyn Wilson is confident several members of the ruling group will support her motion when the budget is due to be set on December 18.

The idea was mooted by Lib Dem councillor Carolyn Caddick and the council's deputy leader, Lib Dem councillor David Alston, said unfreezing council tax was a Lib Dem policy.

The move would increase the annual rate by an extra £52 for properties in Band C.

It comes amid a wrangle over the council’s budget. The local authority needs to reduce its spending by £64 million between now and 2019 and there are plans to set the four-year budget on December 18.

Schools could close and 1,000 council staff – including 50 secondary school teachers – could lose their jobs.

A motion by the opposition group will be put forward on December 18.

It reads: "The Independent Group believe it is time that Highland Council ends the unsustainable and damaging council tax freeze, This has resulted in seven years of detrimental cuts to frontline services in the Highlands. We propose that the Highland Council agree to a 5 per cent rise in council tax which will mean approximately a £1 per week increase for Band C properties, and this income should be used to protect frontline services."

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