Moray councillors have exchanged heated words about the poll tax after a meeting this week.
Independent councillor for the Heldon & Laich ward, John Cowe, raised concerns over the £1.6 million still owed to Moray Council in unpaid community charge at a meeting of the council’s policy and resources committee on Tuesday.
He queried whether the Scottish Government would provide compensation and whether the council would have to make cuts to accommodate for the unpaid sum.
Pearl Paul, group leader of the SNP, released a statement of response, saying: “What we have seen is a Tory in all but name having a go at the poorest folk for not being able to pay an unfair debt that has come from an unfair tax.
“He also made the ridiculous suggestion of seeking compensation from the Scottish Government for their plans to cancel poll tax debt.
“This lack of compassion from councillor Cowe has no place in the Scotland I want to see and he should have more thought for those who aren’t as fortunate as he is.”
Yesterday, Mr Cowe responded to the statement saying: “It appears that should you question the Scottish Government you are one if not all of the following – a liar, a scaremonger or a closet Tory or Labour supporter.
“I am none of these and made that abundantly clear from the outset.
“In my view there should be no politics in local government, there are 26 of us and we should all be working for all the people of Moray, not a political master in Edinburgh or London.
“I spoke on behalf of my constituents – one of whom just happens to be an SNP supporter who paid their poll tax – and I spoke on behalf of the silent majority – all of those who paid their tax.”