Swinney reveals funding for local authorities

Angus Council’s funding for next year has been slightly increased,with its cash available reaching over £190 million it has been revealed.

Finance Secretary John Swinney announced that funding for all of Scotland’s councils will total almost £10.6 billion for 2014.

The package includes funding to maintain the council tax freeze, and a further £81 million in 2014-2015 to fund the additional cost of early learning and childcare provision for three to four year olds, increasing the current number of hours per child to 600 a year.

Increases in rates paid by businesses will be capped at below the level of inflation and the Small Business Bonus Scheme will be expanded to benefit over 4,000 eligible additional properties, for the lifetime of the Parliament.

The Scottish Government is also providing £20 million this year and next year to limit the impact of the bedroom tax on households in Scotland.

Discussing the settlement Mr Swinney said: “Local government provides a wide range of services and plays a major role in local partnerships that are essential to the delivery of the services that matter to the people of Scotland.

“The allocations include resources to enable local authorities to continue to freeze their council tax, which is an important measure to protect household incomes in Scotland.

“This settlement of almost £10.6 billion comes at a time when, as a result of Westminster’s austerity agenda, our spending power has been cut by around 11.1 per cent in real terms between 2010-16.”

He also discussed the benefits for small businesses, adding: “Our small business bonus scheme already supports over 92,000 premises.

“We will expand the scheme for the rest of this parliament to help more small businesses by increasing the upper threshold for businesses with multiple premises from £25,000 to £35,000, extending the benefit to over 4,000 eligible properties.”