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North residents face £7million council tax hike

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Council tax bills will rise by more than £7million in the north as a result of a Scottish Government-imposed increase.

Figures produced by the Scottish Conservatives have revealed the impact of the SNP’s decision to raise council tax on Band E-H homes across the country.

The data – which does not include additional rises agreed by individual councils – shows 30,655 homes will pay an extra £5.259million in the Highland Council area in 2017/18.

The ward of Inverness South contains the most households affected by the change in the region, with a total of 3,430 homes paying an additional £627,169.

In Moray, a total of 8,283 people will pay a combined £1.45million, with Forres containing the most homes impacted.

Shetland has 1,608 homes paying an extra £192,074, while Orkney has 1,501 homes paying an additional £172,971, and the Western Isles containing 1,384 households paying another £153,526.

The figures also show that just two council wards in Aberdeen will contribute more than £1million.

Douglas Ross, Tory MSP for the Highlands and islands, said: “Having been a councillor for 10 years I know people are willing to pay a little more in council tax to maintain local services.

“However, it’s very clear that the SNP is now making Scotland the highest taxed part of the UK, while cutting the amount they give to local authorities.

“People in Moray and the Highlands are paying more to receive less.”

Ross Thomson, Conservative MSP for the north-east, said: “These figures illustrate once again the extent to which the SNP’s council tax grab disproportionately hits this area.”

A Scottish Government spokesman said: “The decision on whether to increase, freeze or reduce council tax is a matter for the local authorities, but the freeze instigated by this administration

has saved the average Band D household around £1,500 in total.

“In terms of funding for Aberdeen, we are helping deliver the Aberdeen City Deal and an additional the £254million of Scottish Government investment on top of it.”

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