Council budget: Fife Tories won’t support SNP’s 3% Council Tax rise proposal

Conservative councillors in Fife won’t support an SNP bid to cap Council Tax rises at 3% at next week’s budget meeting.
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The party didn’t put forward a budget proposal of its own, opting instead to see what the minority Labour administration and the nationalists pitched.

Labour has gone for a 5% Council Tax rise in a bid to plug an £11.5m funding gap - the SNP says it balance the books with a 3% increase.

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It needs the support of the Tories or Lib Dems to win the argument, but Councillor Kathleen Leslie, leader of the Tory Group at Fife House, said it didn’t get her party’s backing.

Councillor Kathleen Leslie, Tory group leader, said her party wouldn't support the SNP proposalCouncillor Kathleen Leslie, Tory group leader, said her party wouldn't support the SNP proposal
Councillor Kathleen Leslie, Tory group leader, said her party wouldn't support the SNP proposal

Cllr Leslie said: “I see nothing to support in what they are offering in Fife."

The Tories said Labour had engaged with opposition groups, but the SNP had not.

She said: "The SNP has proposed an amendment but at no point sought to speak with us which I find distinctly strange given they do not have the numbers to pass a budget without the support of other political groups.

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"The council administration has engaged with opposition groups in Fife and I have outlined to them what my group sees as priorities for the year ahead. I would list the state of the roads as being one of those - that is what local people are telling us. I also want to ensure that there is sufficient financial assistance and support in place for those affected by the cost of living crisis."

She added: “Local Government across Scotland has faced punitive cuts by the SNP administration at Holyrood for a number of years now.

“Between far too much ring-fencing and a £2billion underspend last year, it is local authorities and in turn the people of Scotland who suffer.

“The SNP statement to their amendment is nothing but the usual anti-UK rhetoric which completely ignores the economic disaster that would hit Scotland for decades were they to succeed in their separatist aim. I see nothing to support in what they are offering in Fife."

The meeting to decide Council Tax and rent rises will be held on Thursday, February 23.