Council tax to be same

Council tax in Shetland is expected to be frozen when councillors meet next week to finalise the annual budget after finance secretary John Swinney announced details of the local government settlement for 2009/10.

The council is to receive £97.377 million in revenue support grant plus £256,000 towards the freezing of council tax for the second year running. Mr Swinney said he would make funding available to keep council tax at current levels until the end of the parliamentary term in 2011.

The SIC is expected to have revenue spending commitments of £104.3 million, with the difference being made up from council reserves. The council tax take is expected to be £7.14 million. Last year council tax was kept at £1,053 for a band D property.

Councils across Scotland will share £11.8 billion from the government for the delivery of key services, including a total of £70 million towards the freezing of council tax.

Mr Swinney said: “Across the public sector we are dealing both with a squeeze on public spending – reflected by the worst settlement for the Scottish government since devolution – and the impact of the global downturn.

“But against that backdrop we have acted to protect … funding for local government services – and the shared outcomes that those services will deliver.

“We know that all councils are facing pressures on funding – so in line with the concordat we signed, this government will continue to discuss with our local government partners how best to respond.

“All this is based on our view of local government as equal partners in delivering the improvements people across Scotland want to see.”

He added: “Freezing council tax for a further year will provide an important boost for council tax payers across Scotland during these particularly difficult economic times. I am strongly encouraged that some councils have already taken that decision and I hope that more will follow that example in the days and weeks to come.”


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