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by Jenni Davidson
24 February 2021
Scottish Conservatives to hold vote on creating a ‘Barnett formula’ for council funding

Piggy bank - Image credit: PA

Scottish Conservatives to hold vote on creating a ‘Barnett formula’ for council funding

The Scottish Conservatives will today hold a vote in the Scottish Parliament on creating a ‘Barnett formula’ for council funding.

It will call on MSPs to create a new fiscal framework for councils with an automatic amount to be transferred each year from the Scottish Government’s budget.

The proposed new settlement would work in a similar way to the Barnett formula, where the UK Government guarantees Scottish Government spending each year.

Under the Barnett formula, the Scottish Government automatically gets a share of any UK Government funding in devolved areas.

Councils have been have being seeing their funding from the Scottish Government, which makes up the largest part of their budgets, reduce over a number of years.

Between 2013-14 and 2019-20 local government funding fell by £276m in real terms.

This year, Scotland’s councils are facing a budget shortfall of £511m as a result of the pandemic.

Scottish Conservative local government spokesperson Annie Wells MSP said: “For 14 years the SNP have raided council budgets.

“This has run down local services like roads, schools and housing across our country from the Scottish Borders to Orkney and Shetland.

“Enough is enough, and that is why we have brought this motion forward in Parliament backing fairer funding for our councils. 

“Our proposals will guarantee substantial funds for our councils to spend on local priorities. 

“It would mirror the Barnett formula where the Scottish Government receives a block grant from the UK Government each year.

“Councils must have enough spending power and their funding shortfalls plugged if we are to ensure Scotland’s economic recovery after the coronavirus.”

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