Monday, 3 January 2011

Tories To Cost Scots Households £700 A Year

SNP PROTECTS FAMILY INCOMES

The Conservative government is set to cost Scottish households nearly £700 a year.

The Tories' VAT hike – introduced on January 4th - will hit Scottish households by an average of £597 a year from 4th January and contrasts with the SNP’s New Year’s resolution to freeze the council tax, extend the living wage and abolish prescription charges to protect family budgets.

At the same time recent increases in energy prices will see average gas bills increase by between £60 and £70 a year before this winters cold conditions are taken into account as the Tory Government fails to address fuel poverty across the UK.

In contrast the SNP in Government will abolish prescription charges and freeze the council tax as well as extending the living wage to all workers for which it has responsibility – helping to protect and boost household budgets.

Over four years the SNP’s council tax freeze will save household around £240 with up to £180 saved through reductions in prescription charges.

Banff & Buchan MSP Stewart Stevenson said:

“There will be few families in Scotland that can afford the cost of a Tory government in London.

“As we struggle to recover from the recession the Tories are set to cost Scots households around £700 in the next year – a cost that could put jobs and economic recovery at risk, not to mention putting household budgets under real strain.

“The VAT hike alone will cost Scottish households £600 a year while energy and petrol bills continue to soar.

“Managing household budgets, like national budgets, is a tough task when the amount of money available is falling. We all know it can be difficult to keep up with the demands on spending, even for basic necessities.

“Many households will find the next year hard as energy and fuel bills increase and government support for vulnerable families is cut yet the Tory tax hike continues.

“As part of our contract with Scotland the SNP is supporting household budgets by putting in place the funds for a council tax freeze, abolishing prescription charges and extending the living wage. We recognise the challenges ahead and where we have the powers to protect household incomes and support our services that is what the SNP will do.

“At May’s election it is only the SNP that has a record of supporting household budgets while the Tories take £700 from Scottish pockets and Labour plot thousands of pounds of local and national tax increases to fund their own plans instead of protecting public priorities.”


Notes:

  1. Scotland accounts for 8.8% of all UK VAT revenues (GERS). The VAT increase is expected to generate £13 billion. In Scotland this would therefore be £1.4 billion. There are approx 2.34 million households in Scotland. Therefore average increased VAT payments total £597 per household.
  2. Energy bills are set to rise by an around £70 a head (http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/2010/oct/29/gas-price-rise-energy-bills)
  3. Even on a petrol price of 118p per litre the VAT increase will mean families see their average petrol bill increase to £590.85 per year (based on a Vauxhall Corsa – the most popular car in Scotland)
  4. Over the last three years the council tax freeze has saved average Scottish households £240
  5. The abolition of prescription charges saves up to £180 - e.g. for one member of household on 12 month prepayment certificates over 3 years. As an example this would apply to an adult asthma sufferer receiving no benefits.
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