The people and businesses of Galloway face the prospect of a three-pronged ‘tax attack’ which will badly damage the region’s economy.
So claim the area’s Conservative politicians who state that the triple-whammy of a Council Tax increase of nearly five per cent, a new Tourist Tax PLUS an employee parking charge is about to hit the area.
The Galloway and West Dumfries MSP Finlay Carson said this could “be damaging for Galloway, with tourism such an important industry for the area and a huge number of workers relying on cars to get to their workplaces”.
The constituency MSP also hit out at the SNP’s “continued underfunding of councils with Dumfries and Galloway facing a further cut in their budget this year, putting local services and jobs under further risk despite an increase in the block grant from Westminster”.
He went on: “The Budget agreed between the SNP and the Greens is completely unravelling, the more we learn about it.
“In order to get the Greens on board, the SNP have agreed to a whole host of potential taxes which would have a detrimental effect right across Galloway.
“Hard working families could be punished with Council Tax rises of almost five per cent, a direct result of the SNP’s failure to properly fund our councils over their decade in power.
“Furthermore, councils have the power to charge visitors to the region as well as potentially hitting people for taking a car to work.
“Tourism is such a major industry to the region and I have already heard concerns from businesses if this was imposed in this region about the impact on the local economy.
“Hardworking families will be completely dismayed at the prospect of being hammered even further for simply having the audacity to use their car to travel to work.
“The SNP and Greens must recognise that their Budget is only going to deliver a ‘triple tax bombshell’ for Dumfries and Galloway and is completely misguided.
“I have real concerns looking towards the local council’s budget.
“The SNP Government’s underfunding of our local authority combined with the appalling track-record of the Labour administration in regards to growing our local economy, we face the prospect of a ‘Pay more, get less’ budget, with misguided policies that favour hand-outs over hand-ups.”
A response from the SNP was awaited at time of going to press this week.
On Thursday, Edinburgh City Council became the first in Scotland to impose a ‘tourist tax’.