Make local tax election issue, CIPFA urges

The Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) is calling on Scotland’s political parties to put the reform of local government finance at the top of their policy agendas for May’s election.

CIPFA’s suggestion follows a report from the Commission on Local Tax Reform which called for an end to council tax and urged politicians to work constructively to agree a fairer, more progressive and transparent general tax to fund local services.

No single alternative was recommended by the Commission, but the possibility of a hybrid that may combine property-based levy with an element of income tax was suggested.

Don Peebles, CIPFA Scotland head, told Public Finance: “I expect the parties to have strong local taxation positions in their forthcoming manifestos.

“Whichever government is elected, I’d like to think that one of the early bills they will be bringing forward will be the introduction of fairer local taxation, something that gives a stable and enduring settlement for local government and makes sure we can put to bed the regressive nature of the council tax for good.”