NEARLY 20,000 households in Dumfries and Galloway could be paying higher council tax bills under controversial Scottish Government proposals, an MSP has claimed.
New figures have revealed that 19,350 households locally would be hit if the SNP-Green plans to hike council tax bills by as much as 22.5 per cent go ahead.
Galloway and West Dumfries MSP Finlay Carson described the figures as “deeply concerning” and feared it will only put more families into serious financial difficulties.
He said: “Scotland is already the highest taxed part of the UK and now SNP ministers are trying to make up for the black hole facing local authorities by punishing hard-working households even further.
“Rather than planning eye-watering hikes during a cost-of-living crisis, the Scottish Government should instead be finally giving our councils a fair funding deal they need to maintain vital services.
“This is, in fact, something my own party, the Scottish Conservatives and Unionists, have been demanding for many years.”
According to the latest statistics, properties currently in the E band will face a minimum increase of £131.54.
Those in the top band, H, could encounter a brutal rise of £735.84 on top of their existing figure. It is estimated that 157 properties in Dumfries and Galloway would be affected by this.
Mr Carson said: “It is ironic that in its manifesto in 2007 the SNP promised to scrap the council tax – but yet again this is just another example of a string of broken promises.
“The fact of the matter is that most households are already struggling to make ends meet without the further fear of another huge outlay looming on the horizon.”