Published: 18/12/2014 16:41 - Updated: 18/12/2014 16:53

Bid to raise council tax rejected by Highland Council

Written byDonna MacAllister

Drew Hendry said when families are under pressure £1 a week is a lot of money.
Drew Hendry said when families are under pressure £1 a week is a lot of money.

A PROPOSAL to raise the council tax by five per cent was kicked out today (Thursday) by Highland councillors.

Members voted 45-31 against plans to hike up council tax in 2016-17.

The council’s opposition group of Independents put forward the suggestion. It was a change to their original plan to request the rise for 2015-16.

But the council leader Drew Hendry’s motion to continue with the council tax freeze until the outcome of a Holyrood review into council tax won majority support. This is expected to take place in 2016.

He said: "We are still in a place where people are relying on food banks. Where the working poor are struggling. The average Band D family has benefitted enormously. When families are under pressure £1 per week is a lot of money."

The leader of the Liberal Democrats in the council, David Alston, said his group would be looking to support a rise in 2016-17 – but he was not prepared to agree the opposition group’s amendment, saying it was too specific.

Cllr Margaret Paterson, Dingwall and Seaforth, expressed her support for the rise of five per cent rise next year.

She said: "I’m not rich but I don’t mind paying extra every week. We have to help the bairns and the old people. That’s the way I was brought up. I think if we do not educate our young people future generations will look on us with contempt because if we scrimp on education we will do so at our peril."

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