Scotland’s independent think tank
Scotland’s independent think tank


  • Reform Scotland has been campaigning for radical reform of local taxation
  • Research Director says consultation represents “no more than a tinker”
  • Consultation closes on Wednesday

Reform Scotland, a public policy institute which works to promote increased economic prosperity, opportunity for all, and more effective public services, has today submitted its response to the Scottish Government’s council tax consultation. 

The consultation is limited, merely seeking views on the increasing of the existing council tax in the higher bands.

Reform Scotland emphasised in its response that the consultation is a missed opportunity to investigate the replacement of council tax in its entirety.

“The replacement of council tax with a fairer, localised, bespoke set of local taxes has been talked about by most political parties for most of the era of devolution. Why, when those parties are in power, do they do little about it, instead issuing consultations which are effectively pointless?

“Reform Scotland believes that local authorities should have complete control over their local tax, including the rates, bands and form of the tax. This would allow individual councils, should they choose, to retain, reform or replace council tax with another form of local taxation, such as a land value tax.

“Crucially, this would be a decision about a local tax made by a local authority for its local area, taking into account local circumstances and priorities – a truly local tax.”

Alison Payne, Research Director, Reform Scotland

Commenting on Reform Scotland’s Devolving Scotland initiative, Alison Payne added:

“Whether it’s in the area of taxation or other policy, devolving power and encouraging responsibility by empowering local communities is the best way to create excellent public services, boost economic growth and enhance accountability. Reform Scotland is wanting to encourage a discussion without boundaries about how local government should work.”

Reform Scotland’s council tax submission