The Scottish Parliament Has Backed The SNP’s Plans To Reform Local Council Tax

George with Nicola Sturgeon.

The Scottish Parliament has backed the SNP’s plans to reform local council tax, paving the way for an additional £500 million in education spending over this parliament.

 The majority of households will see no rise in their bills due to these changes. While those who can afford to pay more will see a moderate increase in their bills, all households will continue to pay less on average than under council tax regimes in England.

 Renfrewshire schools are set to benefit from the increased spending as the SNP take forward plans to close the attainment gap between those from low-income and high-income families.

 The overwhelming vote in favour of the change is the first step in the process of reforming council tax, with the Scottish Government committing to further discussions on fair and progressive taxation.

 Commenting, Paisley’s MSP, George Adam said:

 “This reform represents the SNP’s continued commitment to a fair and progressive system of local taxation, with £100m delivered for our schools each year while keeping bills down for most households.

“Improving standards in schools is the SNP’s number one priority in government and this investment is a major step forward in achieving this.

“The extra revenue raised by these reforms will be invested into Paisley schools, with funding targeted at schools with the greatest need.

 “This is an important step in making sure that council tax reflects the ability to pay, while making an important difference to schools in Paisley.”



Council Tax Exemption to Benefit Students

George AdamPaisley’s MSP George Adam has welcomed the news that up to 4000 students will save hundreds of pounds through council tax exemptions. Students moving from Higher National courses into degree-level study could benefit following their exemption from council tax under new legislation.

The move takes effect from 2014/15 and is part of the Scottish Government’s commitment to widen access to education and remove potential barriers to participation. Previously, these students have been liable for council tax between courses, a potential bill of hundreds of pounds depending on their council tax band.

It is estimated that between 3,000 to 4,000 articulating students could benefit annually from the move.

Commenting, George said:

“The Scottish Government is committed to education being based on the ability to learn, not the ability to pay. Our students are already offered the most generous support package in the UK, with increased access for students from low income families now part of the fabric of university admissions in Scotland. Our own UWS has a great track record of widening access and this support will help them to go further.

“This move now means that students progressing from an HNC or HND to a degree level course will now be exempt from council tax. It will free up vital funds for thousands of our hard-pressed students in Paisley and around the country and allow them to concentrate on making the most of their time while in further and higher education.”