Swinney welcomes Scotland-wide Council Tax Freeze

Households across all of Scotland’s 32 Local Authorities are to benefit from a freeze in their Council Tax payments for the sixth year in a row Finance Secretary John Swinney announced recently.

Local Authorities have confirmed that in setting their budgets for 2013-14 they have included full provision to deliver on the joint priority agreed with the Scottish Government to continue the council tax freeze to help families in these tough economic times.

As agreed with the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA) the package of measures, which includes maintaining teacher numbers in line with pupil numbers and securing places for all probationers under the teacher induction scheme, sees local authorities receive a flat cash settlement for next year when compared on a like-with-like basis with current local authority funding.  Local authorities will also receive an additional £23m from the Scottish Government to help fill the gap left by UK cuts to council tax benefit which is being transferred to local authorities at a reduced level.

This announcement demonstrates that the strong partnership that the Scottish Government first established with local government in 2007 is still in place to the benefit of the Scottish people.

Announcing the Scotland-wide freeze, Finance Secretary John Swinney said:

“I am delighted that council tax payments have been frozen across Scotland for yet another year. This demonstrates the strength of the partnership that the Scottish Government established in 2007 with local government continues to deliver benefits for the people of Scotland in the design and delivery of public services in their localities.

“This is excellent news for Scottish communities and householders who, in what remains a challenging financial climate, will see the benefits of a sixth successive council tax freeze fully-funded by the Scottish Government.

"Alongside this funding we are working with local government to support council tax benefit reform; welfare reform; and health and social care reform, to continue to help protect the most vulnerable in our society.

"In the face of the biggest reduction in public spending imposed by Westminster on any Scottish Government, the local government funding package for next year is the best possible outcome and will benefit households across Scotland.”