Penny on income tax would help protect Fife’s vital services

Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale sets out party's plan to avoid cuts to public services. (Picture by Julie Bull)
Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale sets out party's plan to avoid cuts to public services. (Picture by Julie Bull)

Fife Council leader David Ross says Scottish Labour’s plans to to raise half a billion pounds through a 1p rise in income tax would safeguard many local services.

Kezia Dugdale, Scottish Labour leader, this week condemned Finance Secretary John Swinney’s cuts to council budgets.

Instead, she pledged a Labour government at Holyrood would add an extra penny on income tax, bringing in £479m in 2016/17 to protect vital public services.

Commenting on Ms Dugdale’s announcement, Cllr Ross said: “I’m delighted that Scottish Labour is putting forward a realistic way of preserving vital local services and combatting the austerity economics of George Osborne and the Tories.

“Spreading the burden across every taxpayer and protecting the less well off is exactly how we should be paying for our public services like education and social care.”

He welcomed proposals to channel rebates to lower income households through local authorities, describing the idea as imaginative and showing how the Scottish Government and local councils should be working together to protect services and the less well off.

“This approach is in stark contrast to that of John Swinney who is piling additional cuts on to local services and threatening to penalise any council that dares to defy him.

“The SNP have failed to stand up to the Tories and have gone further by adding these additional cuts to local services. I’m glad that Scottish Labour is now showing that there is an alternative.”