Local authority U-turns on decision to hike council tax

Argyll and Bute Council previously agreed a hike of 10% to council tax in February.

Argyll and Bute Council U-turns on decision to hike council tax after additional Scottish Government money iStock

A local authority which defied the Scottish Government to hike council tax has now confirmed the charge will be frozen.

Argyll and Bute Council was the first local authority in Scotland to vote down a council tax freeze, agreeing a hike of 10% in February.

First Minister Humza Yousaf had offered councils the equivalent funding of a 5% council tax rise if they kept the levy at its current rate, with £147m put forward to fund this.

The local authority announced today that with a further £6.26m available for Argyll and Bute, a special council meeting was set up to reconsider the decision.

Council leader Jim Lynch, said additional cash from the Scottish Government meant the authority was now able to both freeze the council tax and protect local services.

He said: “We are now in a position to freeze council tax this year and also save local services from cuts. People need council services to live well in their communities. They also need day-to-day costs to be kept down wherever possible. 

“Today’s decision passes on the benefits of this new funding to our communities – council tax is frozen and council services continue to be available.”

Updated council tax bills will now be issued to households setting out payments with 0% increase on last year. 

Payments for the remainder of the year will be reduced to take account of payments already made at the higher rate set in February.

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