Six steps to save our local councils from financial meltdown

The Herald, by Hannah Rodger

Comments from Herald article:

Andrew Macaulay 14th April 6:40 am
Several excellent ideas. I do like LVT, but remain wary of council run repairs and building etc as it’s so open to corruption, theft, waste and over manning. Politcians don’t make good business men, nor vice versa it would seem. The idea of charging full tax on every property derelict or not is very sound as it will oblige owners to renovate and put back into use or place on the market. We have 30 000 empty homes and yet have homelessness? Absurd! I’d like to bring back the poll tax one day so that everyone who couild contributes, but who’d be daft enough to do that at the moment?


Peter Dale Smith 14th April 7:12 am
I have found during my lifetime that when any political establishment has a problem, they solve it by throwing money at it. That way they can never be accused of making the wrong decision. Margaret Thatcher proposed the pole tax which would spread the load over every inhabitant within the area that used the council facilities. That did not go down well with the guys “who never paid the tax and didn’t want to start now”. A possible solution would be to combine a poll tax with a land value tax, and introduce a sales tax for commercial enterprises. All those individual solutions have been available no doubt World wide for decades. Even if they have not, the logical replacement for business rates that are at present killing off companies at a prodigious rate, is to look at it from another direction. Rich areas will have a good return, poorer areas require a bit of help from the council to achieve a living wage. A sales tax can pinpoint the areas requiring help on a weekly basis. So there is no single solution, but rather an accumulation of them to provide a desired result. Anyone out there good at multi-tasking, well apart from the Ladies.


Michael Kent 14th April 8:12 am
The LVT is another one of the ‘tax the rich’ schemes which people like because most won’t pay it. One of the side effects would be to help push less well off people out of their homes when an area starts to improve.
Between that and the LBTT and the increased income tax the net result would be to make it harder to attract mid to high earners to Scotland.
It might raise some extra funding but the unintended consequences must be understood.


Alan Ritchie 14th April 12:25 pm
Renters already get pushed out of their homes when an area starts to improve because the rent goes up, so no change for them. Owner occupiers pushed out their homes by rising house prices get a windfall from the increased value of their house, so they are wealthier.

Also, the increase in land value will encourage people to build more houses in the area, and allow planning permission for more houses, helping solve the shortage of housing.

LVT should replace LBTT, and if we increased the tax take from LVT, we could even cut income tax, encouraging high earners to move to Scotland until we run out of space.


Alan Ritchie 14th April 3:55 pm
It isn’t, but gentrification will always push poorer people out of an area. We can stop gentrification by refusing to invest in transport and infrastructure and culture and regeneration projects that make areas more attractive, or we can make selling houses for cash illegal, and have some communist waiting list rationing system. Apart from that, I don’t have any suggestions.

LVT will encourage building more houses in high demand areas, increasing supply to match demand. So it is better than the current system. If anyone has an even better idea I will be happy to support it.


Peter A. Russell 14th April 8:37 am
Disappointing: nothing whatsoever about redistributing from rich suburbs to needy inner Glasgow.


Joe Smith 14th April 9:10 am
It’s bit like aid to Africa. The more money you give to “needy inner Glasgow” the more they seem to need !


Michael Kent 14th April 10:15 am
Redistributing what? Do you mean taxing teachers, doctors, small business owners and anyone else that has had the temerity to work hard and be careful with money?

You don’t cure poverty by taking from people who have escaped it. The cure for poverty is lots of different strategies that help people, whatever their circumstances – and you need doctors, teachers and small business owners and many many other professions and people to help make it happen.
Punishing the successful is the worst thing that can be done to alleviate poverty.


Gordon Keane 14th April 12:16 pm
Regards Peter A.Russell’s comment above,
it is the case that the tory destruction of the regional councils, has had an adverse effect on the major cities. (Dundee was not well served either by those changes).
There is no good reason why places like Eastwod, and Bearsden were kept out of City of Glasgow, but simply to try gain toriy votes.
It didn’t quite work out the way Mr “Lord” Forsyth intended, as he helped wipe out the tories for 2 decades in Scotland.
But the mishmash he has left us with, has to be changed.
The present set up is not helping things at all, and in many places, especially in rural areas, there is no longer any local council.
Merging large urban areas together has not been a good thing either.
It is disappointing the Scottish Governments since 1999, have allowed the Forysth creations to remain in place. Bearing in mind, next to no one wanted them, and we only ended up with this mess, thru English tory MPs voting it thru.
The entire system needs changed back to a two arrangement.
Politicians have been given suggestions, but alas, they seem to not particularly care too much.


Gordon Muirhead 14th April 4:32 pm
Both a property tax and a land tax are inappropriate ways of funding local authorities. Neither are liquid assets. The property tax means that a family of 4 who are all working each pay a quarter of the amount payable by a pensioner living in an identical house next door. The answer is a local income tax, which is not nearly as difficult to implement as the bureaucrats make out, and adheres to the long established principle of ability to pay.Last Updated: 14th April 7:54 pm