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Last Updated: Sunday, 11 November 2007, 12:39 GMT
SNP moves to abolish council tax
John Swinney
Mr Swinney is to deliver his first budget on Wednesday
The Scottish Government is to start a consultation in the next few weeks on replacing council tax with a local income tax.

Finance Secretary John Swinney said the plan is part of a 10-year economic strategy to make households 10,000 a year better off.

Last week it was announced that the SNP administration was close to a deal with council bosses to freeze council tax.

Labour voiced concerns over the costs associated with a local income tax.

The government's economic strategy for the future will be set out on Tuesday, before Mr Swinney's first budget to parliament as finance secretary the following day.

Speaking on BBC Scotland's Sunday Live programme, he said he hopes to improve Scotland's economic performance to match other small EU countries.

Massive costs

Mr Swinney said work was already under way on his taxation proposals.

"The government has a manifesto commitment to introducing a local income tax and obviously it requires the consent of parliament for that to take its course," he said.

"What I'm going to be doing later this year is publishing a consultation document to bring forward the case for the local income tax and the abolition of the council tax. We'll set that out over the next few weeks."

Labour shadow finance secretary Iain Gray said a local income tax would lead to massive costs for hard-working families.

"This will hit Scottish families hard, and punish people that only the SNP seem to think are rich, such as teachers, nurses or firefighters," he said.

"The SNP's plans still seem short on detail. People across Scotland want to know how they will achieve this as well as provide the extra police and smaller class sizes they promised."

SEE ALSO
SNP 'determined' over tax freeze
08 Nov 07 |  Scotland
Swinney meets councils over tax
18 Jul 07 |  Scotland
Salmond faces taxation pressure
31 May 07 |  Scotland
SNP planning to scrap council tax
14 Mar 07 |  Scotland
Proposal for council tax freeze
11 Jan 06 |  Scotland
Scotland's council tax increases
23 Jun 07 |  Scotland

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