Aberdeenshire Opposition Group Propose Council Tax Increase to Protect Services

>> 9 February 2023

Aberdeenshire Council today met to set the council tax rate for 2023/24. Councillors will meet again on 9th March to set the full revenue budget for the year ahead.

The main Opposition Group, made up of SNP and independent Councillors, today proposed a 6% increase, which would equate to a rise of £6.70 per month for those in band D properties.

The conservative-led administration proposed a rise of 4%. The difference between the two proposals was £2.33 per month.

Commenting, Leader of the Opposition, Cllr Gwyneth Petrie (SNP) said:

“We fully understand how difficult the cost of living crisis is for our constituents just now and so we realise that any rise will be hard for some. That is why we plan to outline proposals to help those specifically struggling with a council tax increase, where they are not covered by any of the exemptions.

“Unfortunately, however, councils are also feeling the bite of the huge increase in inflation, and the fallout from the disastrous economic mismanagement of the Tories at Westminster. Everything we do now costs more and so, despite an increase in our grant from the Scottish Government, it simply doesn’t cover what the council has previously delivered.

“For those in Band D properties, the 6% would have meant a weekly increase of £1.55, and overall this percentage would have added a further £4.6 million to the council’s budget. This would have allowed us to avoid some of the deepest frontline cuts, ensuring we can continue to deliver on our priorities.

“We do not make these decisions lightly, but without further resources coming down the line from Westminster, we must continue to make difficult decisions, and our focus will always remain on protecting the most vulnerable.”

Cllr Alison Evison (Ind), seconding the amendment added:

“We have a responsibility to do what we can to reduce the pressures on essential services. What we can do is very limited, but it is our communities across Aberdeenshire which will suffer if we cannot deliver on the broad well-being agenda and continue the work to tackle poverties and inequalities. We know too that the decision we make today will have an impact on the budget we have in future years. Our proposal will raise the council tax base on an ongoing basis, thus doing what we can to strengthen council finances for the longer term.”

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