The Tele’s successful campaign to Axe The Shower Tax in Dundee has been praised by MSPs with a motion at the Scottish Parliament.
North East region Scottish Conservative MSP Bill Bowman’s motion, recognising our efforts to bring an end to the shower charge for council tenants, has been supported by eight other elected members.
Tenants have been paying as much as £10 a week to have a shower in their own home for the last 12 years – a charge finally set to come to an end in April.
Lodged in Parliament on Tuesday, Mr Bowman’s motion calls for MSPs to “welcome the news that Dundee’s Evening Telegraph has been successful with its campaign to cancel shower subscriptions that were charged to council housing residents in the city”.
It goes on to recognise that the paper “has been at the forefront of local journalism, campaigning in the city for more than 140 years”, and calls on MSPs to wish the paper “many more years of staying ‘Dundee born and read’.”
We launched our campaign in February after Dundee Pensioners’ Forum expressed concerns about the way a consultation on council rents was run.”
The forum believed tenants had been held to ransom in being given the choice of a 3.75% rise and keeping the charge – or swallowing a 4% rent rise to scrap it.
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Dundee City Council administration leader John Alexander initially blamed the continuation of the charge on the decision of tenants.
But following a rejig of the council’s loan repayment schedule, £750,000 has been found to offset the loss of the weekly tax.
Support for the Tele’s campaign has come from across the political landscape, with Labour councillor Richard McCready leading calls to recognise it at a recent council meeting.
He acknowledged the time had come to drop the policy, introduced when his party was in power.
However, the city’s SNP group has been defensive, accusing the Tele of “missing the boat” in launching our campaign in February – despite the pensioners’ forum sharing its concerns just days beforehand.