By a Newsnet reporter
The credibility of the Labour candidate for the Cowdenbeath constituency by-election has been left in tatters his main opponent has said, after he tried to deny ever saying a Council Tax rise was an option, despite having been filmed saying just that.
Appearing on STV news yesterday, Alex Rowley told an interviewer he had always supported the council tax freeze and added: “you won’t find me saying introduce a Council Tax rise”.

However, as revealed by Newsnet Scotland last weekend, the Labour candidate, who is now the leader of Fife Council, was filmed attacking the freeze.  In an interview conducted by his own local Labour group, Mr Rowley is heard calling for council tax to be increased in order to pay for capital infrastructure.

He said: “My view is you need to spend more money…” he added, “…but local government doesn’t have the money to do so.  One option is that you could put something on the council tax to try and help you do that.”

The Labour candidate also criticised the SNP policy, suggesting that the council tax freeze was damaging local democracy.

Mr Rowley’s claim never to have suggested the council tax should rise, despite being filmed doing just that, has been seized on by the SNP by-election candidate Natalie McGarry who accused her Labour opponent of treating people in Fife like fools

Commenting, Ms McGarry said:

“This was an absolute disaster of a campaign launch for Alex Rowley, whose flat-out denial of what he is on camera saying has left his credibility in tatters.

“It takes a spectacular level of arrogance to simply deny what he knows he has previously stated on camera and think he can get away with it.  Frankly it treats people in this constituency as if they were fools.

“If Fifers cannot trust Alex Rowley to be honest about this, then how on earth are they supposed to trust him with their vote?

“Alex Rowley’s ducking and dodging on this issue underlines the fact that I am the only candidate who has firmly pledged to use my vote at the Scottish budget if I’m elected to protect the Council Tax freeze that does so much for households in Fife.

“The fact that Alex Rowley will not make the same commitment speaks volumes and shows why only a vote for the SNP on 23 January will protect the Council Tax freeze, extend childcare and deliver free school meals for Fife.”

The Cowdenbeath by-election was called after the sudden death of Labour MSP Helen Eadie.  The vote to replace the late MSP will take place on Thursday 23rd January.


2014-01-09 19:04

What hope would Scotland have if these numpties ever get anywhere near power
2014-01-09 20:10

Okay, so you raise the Council Tax. What happens?

Many people can’t afford to pay it and end up in debt either to the Council or to lenders of some sort. Or they pay it but go short in other ways; local shops and businesses loose trade and Fife becomes even more depressed. Not to mention families being deprived of food, clothes etc.

Does Rowley realise the stresses that ordinary people are under? I don’t think so!

Please Eck and Nicola, get us out of here!

People, please vote “Yes” in September.
2014-01-09 20:43

Man with smoking gun stands over dead body.

‘What? Wisny me officer!’
2014-01-09 21:21

It has to be said that the SNP govt have pretty much backed themselves into a corner over this freeze thing. I mean they will have to end it sometime and somehow. The unionist media will tear them apart when they do. I am a supporter by the way I just worry about how they’ll get out of a self imposed straight jacket.
2014-01-09 21:39

I don’t see the Council Tax freeze as a problem for anyone except the unionists since it has been very popular with council tax payers as it has curbed the more prodigal wastrels. I have not heard any calls for council tax increases except from Labour via COSLA.
The way out of it is elegantly simple.You just scrap the council tax, and in my view, the councils as well.
2014-01-10 09:38

If we vote NO there will be a problem when the UK government cut the Scottish Government’s budget.

If we vote YES the Scottish Government will have control over the whole tax system and will be able to accommodate a council tax freeze or replace it altogether.

Another reason to vote YES.

2014-01-09 21:25

Once we are independent the government will be able to choose the best way to raise local authority money. I believe a local income tax is preferred over Thatcher’s tax.
2014-01-09 23:07

If the councils stopped overpaying the upper management of the councils
No council executive is worth 90K + a package, that would be a start

willie boy
2014-01-10 00:56

Funny but the leader of West Dunbartonshire Council was on reporting Scotland only last week saying that he he wanted to raise council tax by just under teen percent.

No doubt his mentor Jackie Baillie who supports, the reintroduction of preacription tax, tuition fees aporives.

removal of
2014-01-10 08:21

Massan Gow says
“Man with smoking gun stands over dead body.”

man filmed shooting dead another man
says “what wisnae me officer”,

fixed that for you
2014-01-10 11:52

To be fair, and it goes against my principles to be fair to anyone from SLAB, he never actually says he wants the freeze to end, he talks around the subject very carefully. I don’t think there’s any doubt that he’s against the freeze on principle though.
call me dave
2014-01-10 22:09

Depressing to have Gordon Brown and Alex Rowley both polluting my bit of Fife. Both flexing their muscles, one to climb up the political greasy pole,the other to remind us he is an ex-politician but both still able to do Scotland down.

Apparently GB repeats his great idea from some months ago at his ill fated labour against independence launch, no one should believe him.

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