Local authority funding confirmed
Details of funding to freeze council tax and maintain police and teacher numbers were confirmed to Parliament today.
The Local Government Finance Order provides councils with a total funding package worth £11.5 billion, including total revenue funding of £10.9 billion and support for capital expenditure of almost £0.6 billion.
The Government has agreed joint priorities with COSLA leadership, and under the terms of the local government settlement authorities have agreed to a number of measures, including freezing the council tax, maintaining police and teacher numbers, and continuing to improve adult social care.
More details of the business rates deferral scheme have also been published today. The scheme, announced in December, provides flexibility to businesses by allowing them to spread the RPI linked inflationary increase for 2012-13 over three years.
Local Government Minister Derek Mackay said:
"We are committed to working closely with local government, delivering better outcomes for people and communities across Scotland.
"Under the previous administration, local government’s share of the Scottish Budget was in steady decline. In contrast, we increased local government’s share of the Scottish Budget in each of the three years 2008-11 and maintained their share in the current year.
"Despite the unprecedented cuts from the UK Government, we have worked constructively with our local government partners and agreed an overall funding settlement that means that local government’s revenue funding will be maintained next year and over the two subsequent years.
"And we have agreed with councils that teacher and police numbers will be maintained and the council tax freeze continued, benefiting every household in Scotland.
"This Order is vital to Scotland’s local authorities, providing the funding they need to deliver the vital services the people of Scotland deserve and depend upon."
Today’s Order was to secure Parliament’s approval for the distribution and payment of £9.9 billion out of the revenue total for 2012-13. The remainder is paid out as specific grant funding, mainly for police, or will be distributed later.
The Order also seeks approval for an additional pounds £62.3 million in respect of previously announced funding for 2011-12 to allow councils to carry out agreed spending commitments, including £37.5 million for the Teachers’ Induction Scheme, £15.3 million for Teachers’ pay, and £7 million to support the cities strategy.
Next month ministers will bring a second order before Parliament to pay £70 million to compensate councils which have frozen their council tax in 2012-13 for the fifth consecutive year.