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Dugdale leaflet deceives voters over council tax

Labour have been accused of lying on election leaflets over their plans to change council tax rates.

In literature distributed around Edinburgh, the party said its reform of council tax would mean “anyone who has a house or flat in bands A to F will pay less each year”.

However, this has been challenged by think tank the Resolution Foundation, while Scottish Conservative analysis shows some people even in modest properties would face a hike in tax.

For example, those in Band E homes worth £225,000 would see an £81 increase in bills, while people in Band F properties valued at £325,000 would pay £725 a year more, a rise of nearly 50 per cent.

That evidence is in marked contrast to the claims made in Kezia Dugdale’s Edinburgh Central leaflet, which only those in “the biggest properties” would pay more.

It is the latest blow for Labour’s tax plans, after critics said a sweeping revaluation would be an administrative nightmare and prove costly for many people.

The increase in council tax is in addition to the party’s proposals to increase everyone’s income tax by one per cent.

Scottish Conservative finance spokesman Murdo Fraser said:

“Labour are trying to trick voters into thinking their proposals are reasonable and will only increase tax for those in the biggest homes.

“However, the analysis shows that – in some parts of Scotland – even people in modest properties will face a rise.

“Labour want to raid people’s pockets at the worst possible time.

“And what’s worse, they are circulating leaflets which lie to voters about the impact of their council tax plans.

“Everyone appreciates that the council tax freeze can’t go on forever, and that’s why we’re backing a modest increase which would be capped at three per cent.

“But Labour want to hit hardworking people across the country, and in some cases almost add 50 per cent to their council tax bill.

“It’s further proof that the Scottish Conservatives are the only low-tax party going into this election.”

Ends

Notes to editors:

To see the Labour leaflet and the impact its council tax plans would have, visit:
http://www.scottishconservatives.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Labour.jpg

For more detailed analysis on Labour's council tax plans, visit:
http://www.scottishconservatives.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Labour-Tax.jpg

The analysis by the Resolution Foundation is here:
http://www.resolutionfoundation.org/publications/battle-of-the-bands-the-prospect-of-council-tax-reform-in-scotland-and-beyond/

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