End of council tax in Scotland to widen divide with England
The Scottish National Party, a party seeking independence for Scotland which gained power in the Scottish parliament last year, is going to try to abolish council tax in Scotland over the next 12 months. Council tax is payed by residents in the UK to their local council, which is in charge of trash pickup and municipal services.
Council tax could be abolished in Scotland in the next 12 months, a move that would widen the growing difference in the way Scots and people in the rest of the United Kingdom live their lives.
Alex Salmond, the Scottish First Minister, said that he will introduce a bill to the Scottish Parliament that will do away with council tax and replace it with a local income tax.
Calling council tax "regressive and unfair" Mr Salmond said the move would lift 85,000 individuals from poverty and save the average Scottish family between £350 and £535 a year.
"Eight out of ten Scottish families will be better off," he told MSPs in Edinburgh, describing the move as the "biggest tax cut in Scottish history."
The prospect of Scots being relieved of the unpopular council tax while people in England, Wales and Northern Ireland still have to pay it may fuel suspicions that Scotland is benefitting disproportionately from the Union.