Letters to the Editor

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Council

We need more facts

The letter by M J Tennent examined the issues of the council cash shortfall and alternative thoughts rather than just blaming Westminster. The idea of a progressive local income tax to pay for services provided by our local councils is considered as an alternative to Council Tax. As there is as yet no Conservative representative among our councillors I cannot honestly quote or dispute many issues of fact concerning details of Midlothian’s control of finances. To suggest any change is wrong without knowing about the details of those who pay all the tax and details of those who have it reduced. I would also need to know about those who are due to pay but guilty of failing to pay for their Council Tax or their rents or of those who even still have outstanding ‘Poll Tax’ bills.

Are these the extra needy or the really naughty?

Currently about 5% of total Scottish revenue are gathered from Council Tax. It is paid on the basis of eight bands of dwelling value as at 1st April 1991.

It does not reflect the number of residents in a home or their combined income. It appears to me to be a property capital charge rather than a community charge and as there are SNP proposals to change Stamp Duty on home sales it seems wrong to change this charge without simultaneously revising Council Tax. The SNP have been guilty of increasing a duty that is retained by Holyrood but freezing Council Tax that is all used by councils.

Gavin Brown MSP has been asking all of his Tory members to respond to a paper about finance so that the next manifesto will have been influenced by many minds.

Please vote Conservative!

Tony Galloway

Midlothian Conservatives

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