Glasgow & West Scotland

Glasgow council tax to rise by 3%

Council tax bill Image copyright PA

Scotland's largest council is to increase council tax for the first time since 2005.

Glasgow City Council said it planned to put up the tax by 3% after the national council tax freeze ended this year.

Council leader Frank McAveety said while the increase would raise more than £7m, the council faced a budget gap of £67m.

Most councils have yet to confirm plans, with about a third indicating they may propose a 3% increase.

Further details of Glasgow's budget proposals are expected later.

Mr McAveety said: "Raising Council Tax will support frontline services while protecting the most vulnerable in our city.

"One-in-four households will not pay a penny more - and we can avoid around £7m of the most difficult cuts, which would otherwise hit every community across the city."

The average bill in the city - in the Band D category - is £1,213, compared to the national average of £1,149. All other bills are a set proportion of this figure.

But changes this year mean those in bands E, F, G and H properties will automatically pay more - even before the 3% across-the-board rise is factored in.

'Mitigate cuts'

Increases are due to take effect just weeks before May's council elections.

BBC Scotland's local government correspondent Jamie McIvor said: "Inevitably, close attention will be paid to decisions taken by councils in the west of Scotland where the SNP is hoping to make big inroads into Labour's council powerbase.

"Privately, some Labour councillors believe they are caught between a rock and a hard place.

"They argue a rise in council tax would merely limit cuts rather than end them, so they would risk asking voters to 'pay more and get less'.

"However, they also believe that if they did not raise the council tax, they would be accused of failing to use the means at their disposal to at least attempt to mitigate cuts."

Labour-run South Lanarkshire has said it plans to freeze bills this year but the leader of West Dunbartonshire Council has indicated a rise is likely.

There have been no public declarations yet from Labour-run Inverclyde, Renfrewshire, East Renfrewshire, North Ayrshire, East Dunbartonshire and North Lanarkshire.

The Scottish government has said more money would be available in the coming financial year for local services across Scotland.

For example, there will be new money through the council tax changes and cash which will be given to headteachers to spend on schemes to raise attainment.

A final decision on the council tax in Glasgow is likely to be made in February.

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