Local authorities handed ‘real terms’ funding increase to support services

·2-min read
Finance Secretary Kate Forbes delivers the Scottish Budget (Jeff J Mitchell/PA) (PA Wire)
Finance Secretary Kate Forbes delivers the Scottish Budget (Jeff J Mitchell/PA) (PA Wire)

Finance Secretary Kate Forbes said a £12.5 billion settlement means Scotland’s local authorities will share an extra £917.9 million to support services in the coming financial year.

The settlement represents a total cash increase of 7.9%, which is the equivalent of a “real terms” rise, that is corrected for the effect of inflation, of 5.1%.

In addition, the Scottish Government has responded to requests by councils for more financial flexibility by enabling them to make their own local decisions on council tax.

Local authorities are key partners with government as we tackle the pandemic and protect our communities, businesses and public services

Finance Secretary Kate Forbes

Ms Forbes said: “The 2022/23 Budget confirms that, even in the face of the economic uncertainty caused by the pandemic, we are providing councils with a real terms increase to their budgets for the coming year of more than 5%.

“Local authorities are key partners with government as we tackle the pandemic and protect our communities, businesses and public services.

This settlement reflects that and includes protection to the core budget in cash terms, an extra £554 million for health and social care, £145 million for additional teachers and support staff and £94 million to support the expansion of free school meals

Finance Secretary Kate Forbes

“As we move forward, they will play an important leadership role in creating a greener, fairer and more prosperous Scotland.

“This settlement reflects that and includes protection to the core budget in cash terms, an extra £554 million for health and social care, £145 million for additional teachers and support staff and £94 million to support the expansion of free school meals.

“I have been clear that this budget has required difficult choices.

“But I am determined that councils should be fairly funded within the limited resources we have available.”

The final allocations will be published following approval by the Scottish Parliament.

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