Motherwell Civic Centre and North Lanarkshire Council Leader Jim McCabe
COUNCIL tax in North Lanarkshire is to be frozen for the fifth year in a row.
The decision was announced last week and it means that the band D charge for 2012/13 will remain at £1098.
North Lanarkshire Council said they were pleased to have kept council tax payments at their current level, despite admitting feeling like their hands were tied.
Jim McCabe, leader of the council, said: “While I have deep reservations about the way in which the government has effectively imposed the freeze, which is not fully funded, it has always been this council’s aim to help people in tough times, and so we will continue to freeze the council tax.
“My primary concern here is that the government talks of partnership with local authorities and yet at every opportunity decides that decision-making should be taken away from locally elected councillors.
“We already had among the lowest Band D council tax in Scotland before the Scottish Government’s proposals to introduce a freeze and so our track record on this issue is clear for all to see.”
Finance secretary John Swinney said that a household in the average council tax band will have saved over £500 by the end of 2012/13 as a result of the council tax freeze since 2007/08.
Mr Swinney said: “We work closely with local government to deliver better outcomes for people and communities across Scotland.
“Despite the most dramatic reduction in public spending ever imposed on Scotland by the UK Government, over the next three years, local government will receive a larger share of Scottish Government funds than in 2007/08.
“Like the Scottish Government, councils face a number of competing pressures on their budgets, so I am delighted the package I offered to local authorities has been accepted in principle by every council. This will see the council tax freeze continue for another year, putting over £500 into the pockets of hard-pressed households since 2008.”