Magazine article Public Finance

Report Blames Scots Council Funding Gap on Efficiency Savings

Magazine article Public Finance

Report Blames Scots Council Funding Gap on Efficiency Savings

Article excerpt

Council tax bills in Scotland could rise by 6.6% because of a potential funding gap of £84.9m, an influential committee of MSPs has warned.

In a report published this week, the Scottish Parliament's finance committee also questioned the Executive's 'inequitable treatment' of local government over efficiency savings.

The report, on the Executive's draft budget for 2006/O7, warns: 'The options for local government faced with this funding gap are either to raise council tax, cut services or raise further efficiencies.'

It adds: 'If the gap were to be met entirely from council tax, it would imply increases of the order of 6.6%. The Executive's target is 2.5% and the committee thinks that the reality will be somewhere between the two figures.'

The committee says it is concerned that a significant factor is the different treatment for councils in the efficient government initiative. …

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