Fife’s crunch budget to be unveiled today

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Fifers are being warned to expect a squeeze on local services as Fife Council gets set to unveil its budget today (Thursday).

As the Labour-led administration tries to plug a deficit gap of £20m it will also announce that the 10-year-long council tax freeze will be lifted in 
Fife, rising by three per cent and hitting those in the E-H bands the most.

Fife Council leader David Ross said that difficult decisions were made when putting together the budget plans, which will go before councillors at Fife House this morning, and that Fifers should be concerned at the impact of budget cuts.

He also hit out at the current council tax system, which he said was “broken” and called on the Scottish Government to introduce a new and fairer system of taxation.

“We need to go back to a tax system based on properties and land values and actual property values,” he said.

“That was what came out of a commission on local taxation and the SNP government agreed with it, but they have just decided to tinker with the council tax.

“Nicola Sturgeon said years ago that they would abolish it but they have tinkered with it and the result is the huge increases for some people.

He concluded: “We recognise that not everyone who has a big house is nicely well off, particularly elderly people who have lived in a house for a long time.”

Mr Ross said a failure to increase council tax by three per cent would result in £4.6 m in cuts .

Meanwhile, a People’s Assembly demonstration is scheduled to start outside Fife House at 7am today.