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Last Updated: Sunday, 27 March, 2005, 12:07 GMT 13:07 UK
Plan to reform council tax bands
Council Tax notice
A review of the council tax is being conducted
Scottish Labour chiefs want to keep the council tax but make reforms to the number of bands "to better reflect the changes in property values".

Ministers have asked ITV chairman and former Bank of Scotland chief Sir Peter Burt to examine the future of the how local authorities raise cash.

The review will also consider whether or not to replace the council tax.

Labour's submission recommends the introduction of additional upper and lower council tax bands.

Labour is committed to the introduction of further bands in the current system, which would incorporate people in properties at the top and bottom end of the housing system
Labour submission to the review

The Scottish Executive is already committed to revaluing all of the country's homes to ensure properties that have seen huge price rises are in the correct band.

But Labour's submission said: "There is a real issue to address where those earning least face larger council tax payments due to the increase in their property prices.

"They require a fairer deal.

"That is why Labour is committed to the introduction of further bands in the current system, which would incorporate people in properties at the top and bottom end of the housing system."

Revaluation or rebanding

Labour's coalition partners the Liberal Democrats, as well as the Scottish National Party and the Scottish Socialists, favour various income-based alternatives to the council tax.

Senior Scottish Lib Dems dismissed Labour's plans and said they were "very confident" that Sir Peter's review would recommend an income-based alternative when it reports in spring 2006.

A party spokesman added: "A revaluation or rebanding of council tax bands will do little to help people struggling with big council tax bills, particularly pensioners on fixed incomes.

"The only way to lift this burden is to replace the unfair and discredited council tax with a local income tax."


SEE ALSO:
OAPs 'facing council tax poverty'
21 Mar 05 |  Scotland
New bands answer to tax reforms
05 Mar 05 |  Scotland


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