Providing vital funding for public services.
Details of how £11.6 billion of funding from the Scottish Government will be distributed to individual local authorities in 2021-22 have been published.
The settlement provides councils with an increase in day to day revenue spending of £335.6 million, including £90 million to compensate local authorities which choose to freeze council tax and a further £259 million will be added in one-off funding to support ongoing COVID-19 pressures.
In total, councils will receive additional revenue funding of almost £600 million to support vital local government services in 2021-22.
The Scottish Government will also increase a scheme which compensates councils for the loss of income from sales, fees and charges due to the pandemic from £90 million to £200 million in 2020-21.
Finance Secretary Kate Forbes (pictured) said:
“This budget is being delivered in exceptional circumstances as we continue to battle a pandemic that has shaken our society and economy to the core.
“The local government settlement will help to fund those vital public services that are much valued and needed.
“It includes additional funding of £59 million to complete the expansion of early learning and childcare to 1,140 hours a year, £72.6 million for investment in health and social care and £7.7 million to support the inter-island ferries in Shetland, Orkney and Argyll and Bute.
“Just as we have chosen not to increase tax rates, ensuring people pay no more than last year, I have taken the significant step of offering funding equivalent to a council tax increase of around 3% to councils who choose to freeze council tax.
“I look to local government to join with me in providing the much-needed financial reassurance to those who are struggling.
“We need to focus on how we rebuild and renew our country, and the funding I am providing to local authorities reflects the key role that they will continue to play in that journey.”