Scotland’s Councils To Get An Extra £120m In Funding

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Scotland’s Councils To Get An Extra £120m In Funding

The Scottish government is to give local government an extra £120m next year in a bid to ward off big increases in council tax bills.

Council bosses had warned rises were inevitable in light of the financial settlement on offer from Holyrood.

Finance Secretary Kate Forbes said she now had some “additional flexibility” due to funding from the UK government.

She told MSPs that the extra cash was equivalent to a 4% rise in local taxes, meaning there was no need for hikes.

Ms Forbes was speaking as the Scottish government’s budget for the coming year faced its first vote at Holyrood, although it is sure to pass with SNP and Green votes.

Councils also need to set their tax and spending plans in the coming weeks, and leaders had hit out at the “totally unacceptable” settlement on offer from the Scottish government.

There has been dispute over the exact figures involved, with the government pointing to an increase in the core settlement in cash terms while councils said that this does not account for inflation or ring-fenced funds.

Alison Evison, who heads council umbrella body Cosla, previously warned there would be tax increases and that it was “probably inevitable” that some local services would face cuts too.

Addressing MSPs, Ms Forbes said the 2022-23 budget was fully allocated, but said “new information” from the UK government meant there was extra cash in the current year’s books.

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