Government knocks £1 million off Shetland’s block grant in each of next three years

Shetland Islands Council is to see its block grant from the Scottish government fall by around £1 million annually for the next three years.

Finance minister John Swinney today announced the spending settlement for all 32 local authorities, with Shetland to receive £92.4 million in 2012/13. That is down £968,000 on the sum it got this year, while indicative figures project the grant will fall to £91.5 million in 2013/14 and then down to £90.5 million in 2014/15.

As has been the case in previous years, local authorities are being given strong financial incentives to deliver a raft of government policies. Those include implementing the council tax freeze, maintaining the number of police officers on the streets and maintaining teacher numbers. Any council choosing to defy the government’s wishes stands to lose around five per cent of its grant.

The settlement is broadly in line with the council’s expectations and is not expected to alter its ambitious target of finding £18 million-worth of savings in the next two years.

Mr Swinney said the government was committed to working with local government “despite the most dramatic reduction in public spending ever imposed on Scotland by the UK Government, in every year between 2012 and 2015 local government will receive a larger share of Scottish Government funds” than it got in 2007/8.

Councils will get an average of £11.5 billion a year between now and the middle of the decade.


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