COUNCILLORS in Inverclyde have voted to increase council tax by more than 8% despite a Scottish Government freeze.

On Thursday evening the Labour-run local authority confirmed that council tax would rise by 8.2% this year.

It comes after council leader Stephen McCabe claimed to have ignored calls from higher-ups in Scottish Labour not to increase council tax.

He told a full council meeting on Thursday: “I stand up to my party.

“I got phone calls saying we shouldn’t be raising council tax, but I told my party leadership we will make the decisions, not them.”

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The increase has been slammed by the Alba Party, who say that increasing council tax during the cost of living crisis will harm struggling families.

Alba general secretary Chris McEleny said: “This is a tone deaf decision by the Labour Party that will raid family pockets and much needed disposable income for the local economy during a cost of living crisis.“

“It was also incredulous that the SNP decided at the 11th hour that they would have also supported increasing council tax by over 8% if the there are not further Barnett consequentials as a result of potential UK Government spending commitments next week.“

“Local politicians should’ve acted to protect household budgets, instead they have been failed by the Labour administration and the SNP who failed to over a no strings attached council tax freeze as an alternative.”

A further increase for 2025/26 was also agreed in principle. If approved, it would see council tax increase by more than 15% over the period.

Ahead of the vote, Finance Secretary Shona Robison said she “could not understand the rationale” of Labour councillors to “impose such a hefty increase in council tax on the people of Inverclyde as it leaves Inverclyde Council no better off financially in 2024/25”.