Council Tax Freeze : Call for Dundee to retain its share of £70 million funding

31 August 2010

Marlyn Glen is calling on Finance Secretary John Swinney to ensure that if the Scottish Government decides to abandon the council tax freeze for the next financial year, then Dundee should still receive its share of the annual £70 million grant from the Scottish Government to councils that has been used so far to freeze council tax levels

Ms. Glen is supporting pleas from local authorities that they should retain this £70 million funding " because of the gravity of councilsí financial plight."

Ms. Glen said,

"The SNP Government owes Dundee millions of pounds from this year.

"It forced the council to slash its spending by over £7.6 million in order to receive a fraction of that sum - £1.7 million - to freeze the council tax.

" The council tax freeze has been underfunded by the Scottish Government with its effects felt on services right across communities."

Ms. Glen said that last year Dundee City Council outlined to the Scottish Parliament "the stark consequences of an enduring underfunded council tax freeze"

She said that the council had called for a review of the current freeze on council tax, and quoted its evidence :

"This measure may not be sustainable and reduces the flexibility to local authorities in relation to generation of funding, and puts added pressure on the grant settlement which is providing funding to local authorities in lieu of increasing council tax.

"Extending the council tax freeze will require additional funding to be allocated by the Scottish Government, which will in turn lead to higher levels of efficiency saving required and additional pressure on pay awards to maintain service levels."

Ms. Glen added, " In the councilsí present financial condition, the continuing council tax freeze is not sustainable.

"However, it takes place in a year when the SNP Government has been given over £900 million more to spend in Scotland by the previous UK Government."

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