Falkirk Council: £7.29m poorer

Falkirk Council will have £7.29m less to spend as a result of budget changes by the Scottish Government.

An analysis of the official budget tables published by the Scottish Parliament Information Centre, shows that the share of the total Scottish Government budget provided to local government is falling, from 34.7 per cent in 2006-07 to 33.9 per cent in 2010-11.

Falkirk East MSP Cathy Peattie said:

“Across Scotland, this is a drop in funding of £270 million, and with Falkirk Council getting 2.7% of the Scottish local authority budget, that’s a cut of £7.29m locally. Add to that the Council Tax freeze and funding responsibilities that have been transferred from central to local government, and it’s clear that the pressure on local authority budgets is increasing enormously.

“This is happening despite the Scottish Government having £600 million more to spend than last year and greater resources than any previous administration.”

The Leader of Falkirk Council, Linda Gow, said:

“These cuts will impact on the services we are able to provide for the citizens of Falkirk Council area. We have one of the lowest Council Tax rates in Scotland and having frozen it for the past two years, the proposed freeze this year again means that the Government is making it more difficult for us to deliver services. It is ironic that a Government who declines to use its own tax raising powers seeks to prevent Local Government from using theirs to the benefit of those it serves”.

Shadow Local Government Secretary Michael McMahon said:

“The Scottish Government is ripping off local councils by £270 million. Their decision to spend less than Labour on locally delivered services, like education and social work, is already having a real impact on the front line. Even councils run by the SNP, like Dundee and Edinburgh, are complaining that they are being forced by John Swinney to choose between cutting vital services and putting up Council Tax. He has introduced Tory capping by the back door.”

Note: If the Scottish Government had maintained local government’s share of the overall Scottish budget of £35,029.9m at 34.7 per cent, as it was under Labour, councils would have received £12,155.4m in 2010-11. This is £270.1m more than the £11,885.3m they have been allocated by the SNP in the draft budget. The percentage of the total received by Falkirk Council is based on the allocation received in 2009-10. For data, see http://snipurl.com/tajod

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