The Scottish Government’s plan for a local income tax has hit another hurdle
after Edinburgh University law professor Chris Himsworth told MSPs it could be
in breach of the European Charter of Local Self-government, a treaty ratified by
In his submission to
local government committee, Prof Himsworth notes articles 7 and 9 enshrined the
right of councils to vary their own levies, and that this would be removed in
the Scottish Government’s proposal for a fixed income tax charge.
’It seems to me that a proposal to remove from Scottish local authorities any
power at all to determine the level of their own financial resources through
local taxation is almost certainly in breach of Article 9,’ he said.
David McLetchie, the Scottish Tories’ local government spokesman and a member
of the committee, said he would be very surprised if the Scottish Government had
looked into the potential effect of this charter ‘given how flaky their
background work seems to have been for this proposal’.
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