Additional funding for local authorities
An additional £94 million of funding for local authorities has been announced in today's Budget.
The money is over and above funding set out in the Spending Review and has been allocated from Barnett Consequentials following from the UK Chancellor’s Autumn Budget Statement.
Local Government will receive an additional £54 million in capital funding to spend on their own local priorities, with a focus on economic growth, such as education, transport, waste, environment and regeneration.
Local Authorities will also receive an extra £40 million to boost digital infrastructure in rural areas to support faster internet access across the whole of Scotland.
The funding was announced as part of the final stage Budget Bill debate and is in addition to the package of resources of £34 million that will benefit local government, in full or in part, that have already been announced for 2011-12.
Local Government Minister Derek Mackay said:
"This additional funding is an example of the Scottish Government’s commitment to working in partnership with local authorities to deliver sustainable economic growth.
"Despite the most dramatic reduction in public spending ever imposed on Scotland by the UK Government, in every year between 2012 and 2015 local government will receive a larger share of Scottish Government funds than in 2007-8. Total support for local government over the three year period will be £34.6 billion.
"As well as this, we have allocated an extra £94 million for local authorities – £54 million in capital funding for local government, and another £40 million targeted at support for digital infrastructure, particularly in rural areas.
"By providing this funding we are meeting our commitment to maintain local government's share of the total capital budget, and recognising the key role they play in supporting the economic recovery through investment in the key local services on which the people of Scotland rely."
COSLA President Councillor Pat Watters said:
"I think everyone recognises that this has been an extra difficult period for local government in particular, and the whole of the public sector in general. Therefore any additional funding for priorities is always welcome."
Budget for economic recovery