Details of £11.6bn local council funding settlement published

Finance secretary Kate Forbes said local authorities would see an increase of more than £330m in revenue.

Details of £11.6bn local council funding settlement published PA Wire
The finance secretary said councils would play a ‘key role’ in rebuilding the country.

Details of the £11.6bn funding settlement for local councils over the next year have been published by the Scottish Government.

Finance secretary Kate Forbes said councils would see an increase in their day-to-day revenue spending of £335.6m, including £90m to compensate local authorities that choose to freeze council tax.

A further £259m will be added in one-off funding due to pressures from the pandemic, she said.

There will be a total of £600m in additional funding to support services during the 2021/22 financial year, she said.

The finance secretary announced the £11.6bn funding package during the Scottish Budget last week.

Allocations for each local authority have now been published, with the average increase to council budgets being 3.1%.

Forbes said: “This budget is being delivered in exceptional circumstances as we continue to battle a pandemic that has shaken our society and economy to the core.

“The local government settlement will help to fund those vital public services that are much valued and needed.

“It includes additional funding of £59m to complete the expansion of early learning and childcare to 1,140 hours a year, £72.6m for investment in health and social care and £7.7m to support the inter-island ferries in Shetland, Orkney and Argyll and Bute.”

She continued: “Just as we have chosen not to increase tax rates, ensuring people pay no more than last year, I have taken the significant step of offering funding equivalent to a council tax increase of around 3% to councils who choose to freeze council tax.

“I look to local government to join with me in providing the much-needed financial reassurance to those who are struggling.

“We need to focus on how we rebuild and renew our country, and the funding I am providing to local authorities reflects the key role that they will continue to play in that journey.”