The SNP Scottish Government’s 2018-19 budget has protected local government spending by delivering a total core funding package of £10.5 billion for local services, a £94.2 million increase from last year.
By allocating £179 million to local authorities through the Attainment Scotland Fund we will reduce pressure on education, and the transfer of £355 million of NHS funding to Integration Authorities will increase funding for local services and improve health and social care.
Since 2007, we have already increased free high quality early learning and childcare by almost 50 per cent, which this budget continues to fund in full through local government. In order to support the further expansion to 1,140 hours of free childcare per year, by the end of this parliament, the 2018-19 budget has provided £243 million investment. You can read more about the expansion here.
On top of the core finance settlement, local government will benefit from funding streams for shared national and local government priorities, such as City Region Deal investment – which will be doubled this year. These funding streams total £361 million of funding in 2018-19.
In addition, local authorities have the option to increase Council Tax levels by up to 3 per cent, which will generate a further £78 million if they so choose.