Scottish Conservatives call for ‘Barnett formula for councils’

Tories will push for a new fiscal framework for local authorities during debate at the Scottish Parliament.

Scottish Conservatives call for ‘Barnett formula for councils’ Getty Images

Councils need a system like the Barnett formula to secure their funding from Holyrood, the Scottish Conservatives have said.

During a debate at the Scottish Parliament on Wednesday, the Tories will push for a new fiscal framework for local authorities.

The Barnett formula determines funding for different parts of the UK.

Local government body Cosla has previously said the latest Scottish Budget did not fully fund the Scottish Government’s public pay policy.

Finance secretary Kate Forbes has insisted the funding deal she set out for councils is fair.

Conservative MSP Annie Wells said: “For 14 years the SNP have raided council budgets.

“This has run down local services like roads, schools and housing across our country from the Scottish Borders to Orkney and Shetland.

“Enough is enough, and that is why we have brought this motion forward in Parliament backing fairer funding for our councils.

“Our proposals will guarantee substantial funds for our councils to spend on local priorities.

“It would mirror the Barnett formula where the Scottish Government receives a block grant from the UK Government each year.”

She continued: “Councils must have enough spending power and their funding shortfalls plugged if we are to ensure Scotland’s economic recovery after the coronavirus.

“The Scottish Conservatives are the only party strong enough to stop the SNP in May and get the Scottish Parliament 100 per cent focussed on rebuilding Scotland.”

A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: “We are extremely grateful to local authorities for the crucial role they continue to play in maintaining critical public services, managing welfare support and administering key grant funding throughout the pandemic.

“The Scottish Government is committed to undertaking joint work with Cosla to develop a rules-based fiscal framework to support future funding settlements for local government.

“Any proposal that ties the percentage funding to the overall Scottish budget risks undermining crucial investment in Scotland’s NHS, which has enjoyed above-inflation increases in funding in recent years.”

STV News is now on WhatsApp

Get all the latest news from around the country

Follow STV News
Follow STV News on WhatsApp

Scan the QR code on your mobile device for all the latest news from around the country

WhatsApp channel QR Code