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Highlands and Islands Greens
Highlands and Islands Greens

Moray Greens Call For Council Debt Write Off

Wednesday, November 16th, 2016

New figures have emerged showing that Moray Council has over £156 million of long-term debt, including loans from the UK Treasury and private banks, and spends 44% of the money it brings in from Council Tax simply paying interest on those debts.1

Moray Greens are joining calls for local authority debt to be written off after a report – Local Government Debt in Scotland1 – revealed the scale of the problem, showing that some councils are facing up to nine per cent interest rates, and finding themselves trapped after taking out high-risk loans from private banks.

“With another squeezed Council budget on the horizon, I know Moray Taxpayers will be gobsmacked to learn that the equivalent of almost half of their Council Tax payments are going to service debt, and not funding services,” stated James MacKessack-Leitch, Moray Greens Convenor.

“It’s utter nonsense for the council to use such a high proportion of Council Tax revenue to deal with UK Treasury loans, which are taxpayer funded anyway, let alone enrich the private banks that caused the current financial mess.”

“We need to cancel these debts so the Council can focus on protecting local services, and where substantial investment is necessary we must improve oversight so councils aren’t forced into high-risk, high-cost loans in future.”

1https://greens.scot/sites/default/files/Local%20Government%20Debt%20Report.pdf