Scottish councils face funding cuts under SNP budget plans

Every council in Scotland will face cuts to its core revenue grant funding under the Scottish Government's Budget plans, according to independent analysis.

Finance secretary Derek Mackay has delivered the 2019-20 Scottish draft budget. Picture: Andrew Cowan/Scottish Parliament
Finance secretary Derek Mackay has delivered the 2019-20 Scottish draft budget. Picture: Andrew Cowan/Scottish Parliament

A report published by the Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPICe) indicates a 3.4 per cent reduction in real terms core revenue grant funding for local authorities.

Announcing the Budget at Holyrood last week, Finance Secretary Derek Mackay said there would be “a real terms increase in revenue and capital funding, and an overall real terms increase in the total local government settlement”.

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The total allocation to local government in the 2019-20 Budget is £10,779.9 million, comprising the general revenue grant, business rates and smaller amounts for the general capital grant and ring-fenced grants. It represents a 2.5 per cent increase in cash terms, or a 0.7 per cent increase in real terms.

If revenue funding from other portfolios outwith local government and communities, but still from the Scottish Government to local authorities, is included, this rises to £11,071.2m - a cash increase of 3.8 per cent (£405.1m), or 2 per cent (£210.5m) in real terms.

The £210m real terms 
figure was used by the 
Cabinet Secretary as 
the headline local government figure in his Budget speech.