Scotland politics

What did Scotland's parties promise on council tax?

During May's Holyrood election each of Scotland's political parties set out how they would reform council tax. As MSPs decide to increase the top four bands of council tax, we re-cap on what parties were saying six months ago.

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  • Scotland's four highest council tax bands would pay more
  • the band E household pay about £2 per week more, and the average household in the highest band about £10 a week more to raise £100m a year for education
  • the council tax freeze will also end in 2017, with councils then able to increase the tax by up to 3% a year

Scottish Labour

  • abolish the council tax
  • introduce a system based on the value of a property
  • empower local government and broaden the burden of local taxes through the devolution of tax raising powers including a tourist tax, land value tax and surplus from the crown estate
  • local councils will decide whether or not to use these powers

Scottish Conservative

  • increase in council tax in top two bands
  • capped increases in council tax, and protection for families in B and E and F homes
  • yet to outline full council tax reform choices, however the Conservative independent commission recommended the council tax freeze should end and rates should be allowed to change within upper and lower limits set by negotiation between local and central government
  • the commission said the banding structure should be maintained, but the progressiveness of the multiplier should be adjusted while protecting low income households across all bands

Scottish Liberal Democrats

  • local policing plans to be approved by local authorities
  • giving councils the powers to set local domestic and business taxation
  • allow local communities to establish a burgh council to serve their area
  • a "fairer system of local taxation to replace the Council Tax"

Scottish Green Party

  • abolish the Council Tax with a replacement Residential Property Tax (RPT) for individual properties based on annually updated values
  • a five-year transition period and options to reduce or defer payment depending on circumstances
  • devolving more powers to local councils and requiring them to include local communities in decision making
  • Local Democracy Act would enshrine a clear duty to promote community participation in all local decisions about taxation; spending and services