Councillors vote in favour of freezing council tax and housing rent freeze

Councillors have voted in favour of a freeze on council tax and housing rent following calls to address the rising cost of living.

The move comes despite recommendations from officials to increase rent by 2.5 per cent in 2022/23 in order to help fund much needed housing repairs.

A report by head of finance Jamie Manson also recommended a three per cent council tax hike on Band D properties.

Council leader Steven Coutts moved the increases, outlined as part of a range of budget and charging proposals, be approved.

He said failing to develop the council’s medium term financial plan to help the SIC become more financially sustainable was “not a legacy I’m happy with”.

Figures before councillors warned almost £2 million could be lost to council’s coffers by 2028 as a result of the council tax freeze alone.

It is feared a further £1.1 million could also be lost due to the rent freeze.

But outspoken councillor Ian Scott successfully appealed for hikes to be excluded from the council’s budget for the next year.

The proposals to introduce the hike in costs emerged against a backdrop of a rapid increase in the cost of living.

Admitting he was “not everyone’s cup of tea”, Mr Scott urged councillors to put their differences aside – and introduce the freeze for the good of the community.

His amendment was backed 13 votes to seven against Mr Coutts’ motion.

A further amendment by Alastair Cooper called for council tax to be frozen, but for the increase in rents to go ahead.

However, the call from the Shetland North councillor was defeated 11-9 in Mr Scott’s favour.

Finally, Shetland South member George Smith called for the opposite of what Mr Cooper had been seeking.

“We should freeze council house rents, but increase the council tax,” he said.

The final vote went 14-six to Mr Scott.


Add Your Comment

Add Your Comment

Please note, it is the policy of The Shetland Times to publish comments and letters from named individuals only. Both forename and surname are required.

Comments are moderated. Contributors must observe normal standards of decency and tolerance for the opinions of others.

The views expressed are those of contributors and not of The Shetland Times.

The Shetland Times reserves the right to decline or remove any contribution without notice or stating reason.

Comments are limited to 200 words but please email longer articles or letters to for consideration and include a daytime telephone number and your address. If emailing information in confidence please put "Not for publication" in both the subject line and at the top of the main message.

200 words left

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Get Latest News in Your Inbox

Join the The Shetland Times mailing list to get one daily email update at midday on what's happening in Shetland.