MACDONALD CONCERNED AS HOUSEHOLD BILLS ROCKET WHILE COUNCIL TAX REMAINS FROZEN
Tuesday, 20 August 2013 10:28
NEW FIGURES SHOW HIKE OF UP TO 61% IN HOUSEHOLD BILLS
Household bills have risen as much as 61 per cent at the same time as the Council Tax has remained frozen in Scotland, new figures have revealed.
Falkirk East MSP, Angus MacDonald says the latest figures demonstrate the importance of maintaining the freeze on Council Tax introduced by the SNP Scottish Government to mitigate against the surge in other household costs while wages are not rising at nearly the same rate and in many cases have been frozen.
Between 2007 and 2012 - while Council Tax bills have remained static in Scotland thanks to the SNP - household energy bills have increased on average by 61.1%. Meanwhile, the cost of petrol has gone up by 44.7% and average food costs have risen 37.5%.
Gross median weekly pay, on the other hand, has only risen 9.0% since in the same period. Since 2010 wages have actually fallen in the UK by 5.5%, the fourth worst fall out of the EU’s 27 countries.
Local MSP Angus MacDonald said:
“With so many households facing the pressure of rising bills, it's an enormous relief for people to know that their Council Tax bill will not rise under the SNP.
“While bills that the Scottish Government have presently no control over; heating, electricity, petrol and food have all risen sharply – including energy bills rocketing by 61% which hit the poorest and most vulnerable in Scotland the hardest - people's Council Tax bills have not risen by a single penny under the SNP.
“The Council Tax freeze has provided a welcome boost for those struggling to keep up with the rising cost of living, but with independence we can do even more.
“Only a Yes vote in next year’s referendum will give the Scottish Parliament full control of job creation, taxation, welfare and energy policy in an independent Scotland, with which we can reduce inequality and work to ease these financial pressures faced by households across Scotland.”
For further information contact Angus MacDonald MSP on 07884090391
Notes for Editors:
Office of National Statistics estimates of how much average household bills have risen on a range of essential items is in the attached document.