There has been much talk in last few days about Council tax .It is clear that the SNP have failed to cost their manifesto commitments. This puts Councils behind a difficult eightball The SNP want to freeze council tax levels and put in place a range of policies that local government must implement, including recruiting more police and reducing class sizes but have failed to how this will be done.
The SNP have three options :
a) Fully fund a council tax freeze and the implementation of all the SNP’s manifesto pledges. They do not have the cash to finance this option.
b) Fund a council tax freeze but not the true cost of the SNP manifesto pledges. This is what is on offer to Councils. It would leave Councils responsible for implementing SNP manifesto pledges without giving them the cash to do so – unless they make cuts elsewhere.
c) Fail to agree a council tax freeze with the Council Leaders. The SNP are threatening to punish all Councils if they do not sign up to a deal.
With 24 hours to go before the SNP budget, they have already decided what they can afford to offer Councils. They SNP cannot afford option A – only options B and C are on the table.
Before she accepts any deal Jenny Dawe must do three things:
1. Get a specific agreement from the SNP government on what they expect us to achieve
2. Get agreement from the SNP government on the exact cost of any pledges that we are expected to implement and receive appropriate funding to do this
3. Get full details from the SNP on any pledges made in their manifesto which they no longer expect to implement.
A council tax freeze would be good news, but only if Edinburgh chooses it not because John Swinney said so or at the expense of vital services.
Jenny must stand up for Edinburgh!