Continued underfunding forces Aberdeenshire Council to raise tax by 3%


Years of underfunding of local services by the Scottish Government has forced councillors in Aberdeenshire to announce a 3% rise in Council Tax, according to North East MSP Mike Rumbles.

The move follows a decade long freeze imposed by the Scottish Government and a substantial fall in revenue for the Council which dropped from £429.6 million in 2009/10 to £412.8 million in 2018/19.

 

The block grant that the council receives from the Scottish Government is also among the lowest in the country. With Aberdeenshire only getting 88.5% of Scottish average AEF (Aggregate External Finance), per head of population. The 3% rise in Council Tax is expected to raise approximately £4 million for the council.

 

Mr Rumbles said: “Continued underfunding of our local services has forced this decision on the council. While the increase is a modest three percent, which is the rate of inflation, it is absolutely necessary to protect against the worst of the damage imposed by the Scottish Government.

 

“Everyone is fed up with this hopeless Scottish Government using the North East as a ‘cash cow’ and underfunding our services. I would not be surprised if Aberdeen City Council, which has a similarly abysmal deal from the Scottish Government, is also forced to increase its Council Tax this year.”

 

Deputy Leader of the Council Peter Argyle added: “I am disappointed that so many of our local MSPs supported this year’s Scottish Government budget, a budget that will have a real impact on the services we are able to deliver to their constituents.

 

"Our local finances have been cut in real terms every year for a decade, that is funding needed for our schools, roads and care services.

 

"At the same time we face significant budget pressures from inflation, a changing population demographic and ever-increasing demand for the services we provide. This year's budget has had to identify over £20 million in savings just to stand still, with further savings to meet the Scottish Government's cut to our grant.

 

“That is why we are proposing a modest three percent increase in Council Tax. The only alternative would have been a further £4 million of cuts to the services we provide.

 

“Every government, past and present, has used the North East to help fund services across the country. We have consistently been one of the worst funded local authority areas in Scotland. The squeeze cannot continue. It is time that the SNP Government gave us a fair share of public expenditure so we can deliver for the people of Aberdeenshire.”

 

ENDS

 

Notes for editors:

 

  • Funding as a Percentage of Scottish Average 2018/19 (Per Finance Circular 5/2017 - Updated 23.01.18):

 

AUTHORITY

AEF 2018/19

AEF per head as percentage of Scottish Average 2018/19

 

£

 

Aberdeen City

317.358

79.38%

Aberdeenshire

403.767*

88.53%

Angus

194.950

96.19%

Argyll & Bute

190.478

125.68%

Clackmannanshire

91.664

102.62%

Dumfries & Galloway

276.665

106.38%

Dundee City

285.866

110.84%

East Ayrshire

218.987

103.02%

East Dunbartonshire

178.944

95.66%

East Lothian

166.326

91.86%

East Renfrewshire

173.320

106.22%

Edinburgh, City of

693.635

78.63%

Eilean Siar

94.030

200.96%

Falkirk

269.373

97.17%

Fife

615.119

95.49%

Glasgow City

1,204.384

112.57%

Highland

431.947

105.77%

Inverclyde

159.688

115.97%

Midlothian

152.878

99.19%

Moray

153.602

91.92%

North Ayrshire

264.407

111.86%

North Lanarkshire

593.267

100.49%

Orkney

67.680

178.07%

Perth & Kinross

240.065

91.59%

Renfrewshire

299.518

97.88%

Scottish Borders

199.299

100.04%

Shetland

79.400

196.75%

South Ayrshire

194.410

99.37%

South Lanarkshire

541.676

98.21%

Stirling

161.707

99.16%

West Dunbartonshire

181.775

116.29%

West Lothian

304.946

97.33%

 

 

 

Total Scotland

9,401.131

100.00%

*Additional Scottish Budget funding of Revenue Grant for 2018/19 is £9.039 million bringing the total to £412.806 million.

 

  • 10 Year Funding Aberdeenshire Council:

 

Financial

General

Non-Domestic

Ring-Fence

 

Year

Revenue

Rates

Grants

Total

 

£m

£m

£m

£m

2018-19

290.216

110.710

2.841

403.767*

2017-18

308.956

95.828

4.940

409.724

2016-17

314.451

98.451

0.030

412.932

2015-16

325.154

95.217

0.037

420.408

2014-15

329.847

86.371

0.084

416.302

2013-14

335.743

78.947

0.084

414.774

2012-13

342.555

73.370

17.344

433.269

2011-12

344.117

68.670

17.143

429.930

2010-11

320.764

96.621

18.797

436.182

2009-10

307.646

100.659

21.330

429.635

 

3,219.449

904.844

82.630

4,206.923

 

 


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