Our Plan for Scotland

Fair taxation at a local level

Fair taxation at a local level

We support a fairer system of local taxation to replace the Council Tax. We participated in the cross-party Commission on Local Tax Reform to try to develop a consensus to build an enduring alternative. The decision by the Scottish Government to ignore the recommendations of the cross-party Commission and to make arbitrary changes to Council Tax has discredited the whole process.

We are attracted by the economic and social benefits that could be brought about by a system of land value tax, which works well in other countries. Such a system does not penalise people who improve their property as the tax is based only on the land value. A land tax encourages derelict land in urban areas to be brought back into productive use.

It will be possible to consider and evaluate further this proposal for domestic properties alongside a review of business rates. There could be many common features that result in a more simplified overall tax system.

This work will take time but it is important to get change of this scale right and to make it enduring for generations. The Commission recommended that further work to support this proposal should take place in the 2016-21 parliamentary session. We agree.

Substantial proposals for change will only be enacted in the 2016-2021 parliamentary session if they enjoy wide cross-party and public support.

To accelerate this as far as we can we will speed up the process to map all of Scotland