Gavin Newlands, the MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, today challenged the leader of Renfrewshire Council to invest in front-line local services in Renfrewshire.
Newlands said the Council should drop the debunked argument that the Council Tax freeze was ‘unfunded’ and was damaging local services.
Yesterday, the Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPICe) released research which shows that “the money provided by the Scottish Government to freeze the council tax has resulted in local authorities receiving more income than they would have done by increasing rates by RPI%”.
The report goes on to say that the funding given to local government was such that “it could be said that the freeze, over the period 2008-09 to 2013-14 was ‘over-funded’”.
Cllr Mark Macmillan, the leader of Renfrewshire Council, appeared on the BBC’s Scotland 2015 and was asked six times if he would raise council tax before answering ‘no’.
Today, Gavin Newlands MP has written to Cllr Macmillan and challenged him “to retract the well-trodden Labour claim that the council tax freeze was ‘unfunded’” and to “invest and protect local front-line services instead of squandering it on new offices for local councillors and flat screen televisions.”
Gavin Newlands, the MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, said:
“Not only has the Council Tax freeze saved families, on average, £1,200 in a tough economic climate but new independent research by SPICe shows that the Scottish Government has ‘over-funded’ the freeze – ensuring that family incomes are boosted and council budgets are supported.
“Independent experts have exposed the Labour Party’s lack of logic and has completely debunked their misleading claim about the Council Tax freeze.
“It is time for the leader of Renfrewshire Council to come clean with the people of Renfrewshire and retract the bogus claim that he and his Labour Party colleagues have perpetuated over the last eight years.
“Cllr Macmillan must stop ducking and diving the responsibility that his council has to the people of Renfrewshire and get on with investing in local front-line services, instead of running a budget surplus, squandering tax-payers’ cash on building new offices for local councillors and buying flat screen TVs – and then complaining that it’s the Scottish Government’s fault.”