Moray Council to maintain council tax freeze in face of government sanctions

Moray CouncilMoray Council has dropped plans to put up council tax by 18 per cent after local authorities were told they could face sanctions if they did not agree to the Scottish Government’s freeze.

The authority’s ruling administration initially said the move to increase council tax was necessary to protect frontline services.

However, the council will now maintain the freeze on household bills after council leader Stewart Cree said the amount it could raise would be “all but wiped out by Scottish Government penalties”.

All of Scotland’s 32 councils are in the process of agreeing their budgets for 2016/17.

Moray Council, which has an independent/Conservative administration, needs to cut spending by £11.9m in the next financial year.

Councillors proposed in the middle of last month that council tax bills could rise by as much as 18 per cent which would have seen an increase for Band D properties of £204 a year.

But that move would have resulted in the government withholding £1.1m which would have been allocated to the Moray to offset the freeze, which has been in place across Scotland since 2007.

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