Moray SNP News
NUMBER OF PEOPLE IN MORAY SEEKING HELP WITH COUNCIL TAX ARREARS MORE THAN DOUBLED IN FIVE YEARS REVEALS MSP16/01/2016
Moray MSP Richard Lochhead has urged Moray Council to drop their proposal to increase Council Tax by a whopping 18% after revealing that the number of people with council tax arrears in Moray seeking advice from StepChange Debt Charity.
As the Tory/Independent administration announced plans to hike the Council Tax by 18%, Richard Lochhead learned that 40% of StepChange Debt Charity’s clients in Moray report having council tax arrears, compared with 19% in 2010 when the Tory UK Government was elected and adopted austerity.
Mr Lochhead has expressed his concern that households in Moray are facing real financial pressure and argues that the proposed 18% increase in council tax will push hard pressed Moray families into more debt.
Commenting on these figures, the MSP said:
“It is extremely concerning that the number of people from Moray approaching Step Change Debt Charity for advice and support to deal with council tax arrears has more than doubled in the last five years and an 18% hike in council tax proposed by the Tory/Independent administration will only make matters a lot worse.
“The austerity agenda coming from Conservatives at UK level and the high cost of living mean that families and households in Moray are really struggling, and these figures clearly show that household budgets are already over stretched for tax payers, many of whom will have not seen a pay rise for years.
“The Scottish Government’s commitment to freezing council tax is based on an understanding of the financial pressure households are under and has saved the average Moray family around £1200 since it was introduced.
" Unfortunately, the Tory and Independent councillors running the Moray Council seem to be out of touch with the tough financial circumstances many of their constituents find themselves in.
“I can only hope that drawing attention to these figures can turn the minds of some Tory and Independent councillors to those in their communities who simply cannot afford an increase and reconsider this massive and unpopular tax hike."
Below is a table which shows the percentage of StepChange Debt Charity’s clients from Moray who have contacted them for advice on council tax arrears:
Year % of Clients with Council Tax Arrears Average Council Tax Arrears
2010 18.9% £2,110.86
2011 23.3% £1,763.57
2012 18.4% £467.86
2013 39.5% £753.07
2014 39.7% £959.32
2015 40.5% £1,373.40