Councils across Scotland have been making dramatic cut backs to their services due to financial pressures over recent years with the trend continuing as Councils set their budgets for the next financial year.
Scottish Councils are primarily funded by a grant from the Scottish Government, only around 15% of Councils budgets is sourced from Council Tax but it remains an important funding stream, used to provide essential front line community services such as refuse collection, libraries, community facilities, education services, street lighting and so on.
That is why is it is so important that the people of Scotland pay their Council Tax, to fail to pay their Council Tax is to put at risk essential local services which may hurt our communities for years to come.
It is peoples duty to pay Council Tax, to prioritise its payment over other expenditure such as cable television, cigarettes and alcohol.
In January 2017 records held by Scotlands 32 Councils detailed that the people of Scotland owed a total of £276million in Council Tax from the last three complete financial years.
This is a staggering amount which Councils simply don’t have to spend on front line services.
Imagine how many new Primary Schools could be funded? Imagine how many libraries & community centres could be refurbished or rebuilt?
The people of Scotland must now, more than ever, dig deep to fund local Councils.
- Scottish Borders Council is owed £5,520,414.99
- South Lanarkshire Council is owed £21,304,000.00
- Highland Council is owed £8,172,668.42
Are Councils doing enough to recover the missing cash? Whatever they are doing, they need to do more giving such a large outstanding amount.
With local Council elections being held this year, perhaps we should asking candidates what they will be doing to ensure that their local authority will be doing everything it can to collect the outstanding money in order to use it for essential community services.
Whilst in general Council Tax collection rates remain high, there is clearly more work to be done.