SNP MSP for the South of Scotland Dr Aileen McLeod 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.
Dr McLeod said:
“Energy prices, fuel prices and other household bills have risen steeply over the last few years, and for people living in rural areas such as Dumfries & Galloway who often have to tolerate higher fuel costs and travel grater distances to work, some of these increases have been even higher.
“With so many households facing the pressure of rising bills, I believe it is important for the Council Tax freeze to continue and the SNP are committed to doing that.
“While the Scottish Government has done what it can with the powers currently in Scotland’s hands; other bills influenced by Westminster based treasury policies such as 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.
“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 here in Dumfries & Galloway and across Scotland.”
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.