Ballantyne Backs Check to Save Campaign

This week, Michelle Ballantyne has lent her backing to the Check to Save campaign.

 

Citizens Advice Scotland are launching a major new campaign - Council Tax: Check to Save.

They want to encourage people to check if they are entitled to exemptions, reductions or discounts on their Council Tax.

Citizens Advice Scotland revealed the average debt of the 2,250 people it helped last year was £3,102.

Unpaid council tax, it said, was the "number one debt issue" its advisors dealt with.

The charity is urging people to check if they are entitled to exemptions, reductions and discounts.

CAS said the number of people claiming Council Tax Reduction has fallen by more than 80,000 since reforms in 2013.

This comes after Midlothian Council voted to increase council tax by 4.84 per cent, beginning in April. This is the second consecutive year Midlothian residents will see their council tax rise following a 4.79 per cent increase last year.

Following the announcement of the Scottish Government’s funding allocation to Midlothian Council, the local authority faces a £1.8 million shortfall in its planned investment budget.

Michelle Ballantyne MSP criticised the Scottish Government’s funding settlement to Midlothian Council and has encouraged constituents to visit checkmycounciltax.scot to check what they are entitled to.

 

Michelle Ballantyne MSP commented:

 

“This SNP Government has chronically underfunded Midlothian Council, and now it’s the taxpayer who have been left to pick up the pieces.

“Following a 17 per cent decrease in the Scottish Government grant for capital grants, Midlothian Council has been forced to increase council tax for a second consecutive year.

“However, this has left the taxpayer thoroughly out of pocket. Citizens Advice Scotland has now found that council tax is the biggest debt issue facing Scottish people right now.

“I’d encourage everyone to visit checkmycounciltax.scot to double-check what you’re entitled to. Meanwhile, I will be raising the issue with the SNP Government at the earliest opportunity. The taxpayer deserves value-for-money and this certainly hasn’t been the case under this SNP Government.”