Big increase in Glasgow housing tax refunds since lockdown
The number of people claiming housing tax help in Glasgow has skyrocketed since the lockdown began.
Official figures show that as of March 2020, there were 87,580 reimbursement requests in the city.
Six months later, in September, that number increased from over 6,400 to 93,980.
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The sharp rise follows a steady decline in 2013/14, when the number of households requesting a rebate exceeded 100,000 in Glasgow.
Official government figures have shown that across Scotland nearly half a million people are currently benefiting from municipal tax cuts.
A total of 496,580 people requested a reduction in the housing tax.
Nationally, there was a similar pattern, of a long, steady and sustained decline since 2013/14, followed by a sharp rise last March.
Scottish Labor said it was proof more action was needed to protect people’s incomes as Scotland sought to move closer to economic recovery once the covid pandemic is over.
He said around 300,000 people were still on leave and facing a precarious future.
Daniel Johnson, Scottish Labor finance spokesman, said: ‘With hundreds of thousands of Scots on leave or unemployed and struggling to make ends meet, the Scottish government must do everything to protect the finances family.
“The financial well-being of hundreds of thousands of Scots is at stake and the SNP’s employment plan is simply not fit for purpose.
‘During the campaign, Labor set out a clear vision to protect and keep jobs, including a program to provide every young Scots or long-term unemployed person with a job or training opportunity.
“The scale of the current crisis demands this level of ambition.
“Scottish Labor calls on the SNP to work with us in the national interest to protect family finances and build a fairer and more productive economic recovery.”
In her statement on priorities for government earlier this week, Premier Nicola Sturgeon announced measures designed to increase and protect household incomes among those with low incomes.
It included measures on the payment of Scottish children and on the housing tax for the youngest.
Sturgeon said, “We will increase the school clothing grant and the Best Start Food Grant.
“And before we officially extend the Scottish Children’s Payment next year and prepare to double its value, we will be providing interim support to eligible children, including a payment of £ 100 towards the start of the summer holidays.
“To support young adults, during this legislature, we will be raising the age at which people become liable for housing tax from 18 to 22.”