On the day senior Falkirk Labour Councillor, Linda Gow, attacked the SNP for funding the Council Tax freeze her colleagues were putting out leaflets in the Cowdenbeath by-election claiming credit for the freeze that has saved hard pressed families hundreds of pounds a year.
When Labour were in power the Council Tax rose by more than 60% in just 10 years.
Speaking at Falkirk Council’s Executive Committee former Labour leader, Mrs Gow, blamed the Council Tax freeze for all local government’s ills despite a report on the same agenda showing a projected underspend for the council this year of £2.2m, during the previous year the underspend was over £4.3m.
Councillor Gow, who was recently removed from the short list of the Falkirk Constituency by her own party, once famously challenged the SNP Government to show us the money for a freeze on Council Tax Bills. Each year since then the SNP Government have paid Falkirk Council the equivalent of a 3% rise in the Council Tax from an additional £70m paid to Scottish Local Authorities.
The irony is that Labour campaigned for a two-year Council Tax freeze during the 2011 Scottish Parliament elections but only budgeted for one years increase in council grants, effectively removing £70m from the local government budget resulting in massive cuts in services as a consequence if Labour had come to power.
Falkirk Council’s SNP Depute Leader, Councillor Steven Jackson said
“It is no wonder Labour within Falkirk Council are running scared of proper scrutiny of their actions when we hear the hypocrisy from their former leader within the council.
Mrs Gow will be aware of the fact her party supports the freeze on Council Tax Bills when there is an election taking place such as in Cowdenbeath at the moment yet decry it when they don’t have to face the general public.
That is inherently dishonest but then that is becoming the norm for the modern-day Labour Party which may explain their poor opinion poll ratings, particularly when the question of trust is asked.
Labour should tell the people how much you want to charge them in increased Council Tax bills. Perhaps they could also explain why they continually fail to spend their existing allocations by millions of pounds each year.”