PROPOSALS that would land 45,000 households in the Kingdom with higher council tax bills have been slammed.

The official response from Fife Council to a Scottish Government consultation was to reject any rises when so many people are struggling in a cost of living crisis.

The plans, designed to make the tax fairer, would rake in an extra £8m for the local authority but see bills for those in the highest bracket jump by £763.

READ MORE: Give Inverkeithing a sporting chance when high school shuts

Only Band E to H properties would be affected but that would still see a quarter of Fife households (45,000) hit with bigger bills.

Council leader David Ross said: "The fact we're looking at this is a result of failure to reform or replace the unfair council tax and a failure to properly fund local government and local services by the Scottish Government.

"The result is this proposed tinkering around the edges as a way of basically finding extra money for local government and making council tax payers pay for those failures."

Dunfermline Press: Fife Council leader David Ross slammed the proposed hike in council tax charges.Fife Council leader David Ross slammed the proposed hike in council tax charges. (Image: Newsquest)

He continued: "In Fife 45,000 households would be paying hundreds of pounds more each year at a time we know there is a significant cost of living crisis.

"There are soaring energy costs and massive hikes in mortgage payments so now is not the time to lump another significant cost onto those households.

"I hope the government will see sense in terms of deferring or re-thinking these proposals."

The Scottish Government and the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (Cosla) have asked councils for their views on the proposals.

As it stands, households in the lowest banded property (Band A) pay around 3.96 per cent per annum in terms of the property's value whereas households in the highest banded property (Band H) pay around 1.45 per cent.

If the new charging arrangements, designed to make the system more equitable, go ahead it would likely see Band E charges increase by 7.5 per cent (£136 a year), Band F by 12.5 per cent (£281), Band G by 17.5 per cent (£474) and Band H by a whopping 22.5 per cent (£763).

Cllr Ross continued: "We all know the banding of houses is not a very good indicator of wealth or income, particularly when you take into account there's been no re-evaluation of properties since 1991 and the inequity of those valuations has only grown in that time.

READ MORE: New approach to stop dirty camping and inappropriate parking at Aberdour

"For instance, a pensioner couple on a fixed income in perhaps a Band E house would end up paying substantially more than a household in a lower band with three or four incomes coming in.

"Just assuming that everyone in a Band E or H property is well off is far from the truth.

"This uplift is now seen as an easy hit by the government to bring some extra money in.

"There are some smaller councils around the country that are in dire financial straits and see this as the only way of getting some extra money to sustain their services.

"But that doesn't make it right."

Lib Dem councillor James Calder, who represents Dunfermline South, proposed a stronger response to make it clear there should be no increases while it was also agreed that, if the changes had to come in, any increases should be lower and phased in to ease the financial pain on residents.

He was pleased it was accepted and added: "I felt Fife Council needs to send a strong message to the Scottish Government to get their act together and improve local funding, rather than taxing people already struggling with inflation and high interest rates."