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City Council Finance Convener's comment on Dundee Council Budget process.

January 18, 2006 6:30 PM
UK Money - notes and coins

Liberal Democrat Finance Convener comments on Council budget process

Dundee City Council Liberal Democrat Finance Convener Cllr Fraser Macpherson has accused SNP Finance spokesperson Cllr Joe Fitzpatrick of being "irresponsible" for suggesting that the Council Tax increase prediction made by Council Leader Cllr Jill Shimi is a "scare" figure ahead of the budget to make the actual rise more palatable.

"The Council administration has given the people of Dundee an honest assessment of where we are in relation to the budget position and it is pretty irresponsible of the SNP to suggest anyone is making "scare" statements. The Council Liberal Democrat and Labour administration has been working hard to try to keep any increase to a minimum, and we will continue to put every effort into this in the run-up to the setting of the Council Tax on 9th February," said Cllr Macpherson.

"I note that Councillor Fitzpatrick has called for the abolition of the Council Tax and its replacement with a local income tax. Whilst I am pleased to see the SNP belatedly agreeing with this long-standing Liberal Democrat policy, it appears that Councillor Fitzpatrick is unaware of the ongoing Local Government Finance Review under the Chairmanship of Sir Peter Burt. Delivering a review of local government finance has been an achievement of the partnership government in the Scottish Executive, which is rather more tangible than all the hot air from the Dundee SNP group. Dundee Liberal Democrats, along with our Scottish party, submitted evidence to the review, calling for a local income tax.

"Fundamentally, whilst we still have the current system of local taxation, its all the more important that we run services as efficiently as possible and ensure Council Taxpayers get the best value for money. The Council joint Liberal Democrat and Labour administration has been working extremely hard to minimise the increase and this process will continue, right up to budget day," concluded Cllr Macpherson.