Kate Forbes says no extra money for Scotland from council tax rebate

The finance secretary said the Scottish Government will not receive extra money as a result of the council tax rebate plan announced last week.

Kate Forbes says no extra money for Scotland from council tax rebate iStock
Forbes: No extra money for Scotland from council tax rebate.

Finance secretary Kate Forbes has said the Scottish Government will not receive extra money as a result of the council tax rebate plan announced last week by the Chancellor.

Ms Forbes referred to comments from Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford, in which he said his administration will not receive extra funding, saying this echoes the position for Scotland.

However, their claims were denied by the UK Government.

As part of his package of support to help with rising energy costs, Rishi Sunak announced households in council tax bands A to D in England will receive a £150 rebate.

He said this will lead to Barnett consequentials of around £565 million between the three devolved administrations, which they will be able to choose to spend this year or next.

Mr Drakeford tweeted on Wednesday afternoon: “Last week HM Treasury said Wales would receive £175m from its English council tax rebate plan.

“Just as we’re finalising our plans to tackle the Cost of Living Crisis, we’ve learned there’s no extra money for Wales.

“We will continue to work to support those who need it the most.”

Ms Forbes quoted his tweet, saying: “This echoes the position for Scotland.

“Nevertheless we will honour our commitment to allocate £290m to deal with the cost of living crisis in Scotland, with details announced tomorrow.

“It will require us to revise the latest budget position I set out to the Scot Parl last week.”

MSPs are due to hold a Stage 3 debate on the Scottish budget on Thursday.

Simon Clark, chief secretary to the treasury, responded to Mr Drakeford’s comments.

He tweeted: “The Welsh Government will receive £180m of Barnett consequentials as a result of the Council Tax rebate announced by the Chancellor.

“Exceptionally, we have given the Welsh Government the flexibility to choose whether they spend this money in this financial year or next in order to make the biggest impact on the cost of living.”

Responding to Ms Forbes’ comments, a UK Government spokesman said: “The Scottish Government will receive £296 million of Barnett consequentials as a result of the Council Tax rebate announced by the Chancellor.

“This is new funding for the Scottish Government.

“People in Scotland expect both Governments to be working together for them, their families and communities so we will continue engage with them on this support.”

The Treasury said it regularly shared updates on Barnett funding with devolved administrations and final allocations are confirmed in February.

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “The latest information suggests that the further £290 million in cost of living funding announced last week is not likely to be additional to previous consequential funding indications from the UK Government.

“Despite this reduction in our estimated overall funding, the Scottish Government will provide £290 million to help households struggling with the cost of living.

“The Cabinet Secretary for Finance and the Economy will set out plans to further tackle the cost-of-living crisis as part of tomorrow’s Stage 3 Budget Bill proceedings.”