Backing for higher council tax

By Michael Fern

Seven out of ten Edinburgh residents have told the council that they are prepared to pay more council tax to soften public service cuts.

Council Tax

The results follow a number of summits in which locals gave their opinions, ahead of council talks with the Scottish Government on ending the current freeze on council tax.

Labour Councillor Ricky Henderson has criticised the findings, saying that the council had “not explain[ed] what mechanism they would use” to safeguard frontline services with the extra money generated. We asked Edinburgh residents’ opinions on the findings.

John McIntosh, 58, said: “I know that they have been freezing council tax, and no, I don’t think they should continue to. Local consumers should pay for the services they receive, and if those services are going up in price, I see no problem with the tax rising.”

Anna Tomlinson, a 22 year old student living in Marchmont, said: “I know I don’t pay council tax myself so maybe I shouldn’t judge, but before I moved here I lived in a very expensive area of London, and they think they can charge what they want because of where it is.

“It depends on the area, but I wouldn’t want to see it go up at all, it feels so expensive in some places already.”

Keith Brame, 43, said that it was a delicate balancing act. “I would prefer for it not to go up,” he said. “But it is a choice between protecting people during a recession and protecting services, and I think if council tax has to go up to protect services people will be able to handle it.”