Once again the Labour supporting Falkirk Herald has shown its true colours this time in support of Labour’s plans to hike Council Tax.
In a front page exclusive Herald Chief Reporter breached the papers claim of political neutrality by promoting the stance of the Labour Party that Council tax should be hiked at a time when other taxes are being raised.
No attempt was made to contact the SNP to gain a balance within the article or facts obtained to back up the position adopted by the paper.
Insult was added to injury with the editorial in the same edition which repeated the Labour line that a freeze protected the rich at the expense of the poor when the Institute of Fiscal Studies and other financial experts have shown that the opposite is the case.
The SNP have argued that at a time when,
- Wages are being frozen
- VAT is being increased to 20%
- Domestic fuel bills are rising by up to 10%
- Labour and Tory Councillors are bringing in new charges such as the £1.6m from pensioners and disabled people requiring social services
Any increase in the Council Tax is unjustified.
Falkirk Council SNP leader, David Alexander told the SNP website,
“SNP activists from across Falkirk district have phoned me over the piece in the front page and editorial of the paper to complain about the lack of balance in the paper.
Had I known about the content of the article I would have pre-empted the paper by submitting the SNP viewpoints that people are suffering enough without even more tax hikes. However, I was not contacted by the reporter which comes as a surprise because the opposition were always given a fair shout when we were in power.”
Other facts ignored by the Falkirk Herald are,
- Local Government receives a higher percentage of the national budget now than when Labour left office.
- Falkirk Council Labour Leader signed up to the COSLA deal that demanded and received the same share of the national budget next year as this in return for a Council Tax Freeze.
- Falkirk Council faces a 2.6% cut in funding due entirely to the £1.3b cut in the Scottish budget, English councils face a 6.7% cut.
- Falkirk Council would require to put up Council Tax by 26% to make up the amount Cllr Martin claimed Falkirk Council needed to meet the shortfall.
- The Falkirk Herald has so far failed to advise readers that the deal with COSLA also protects Police numbers and falling class sizes.