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FORSYTH ANNOUNCES COUNCILS' SUPPORT PROPOSALS FOR 1997-98

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Scottish secretary Michael Forsyth has issued his proposals for the allocation of increased government support tota...
Scottish secretary Michael Forsyth has issued his proposals for the allocation of increased government support totalling over £5.3 bn to the 32 Scottish councils for 1997-98.

Over and above the allocation which is being announced today, grant totalling £18m will be paid under the second year of the transitional reorganisation funding arrangements which Mr Forsyth announced last March.

Commenting on the proposals, Mr Kynoch said:

'The proposals issued today deal with the detailed allocation to the 32 new councils of the total amount of Aggregate External Finance (AEF) settlement for next year which was announced as part of the local government finance settlement on November 26.

'Local government current expenditure has been treated favourably, in a very tough public expenditure round. For the second successive year, improvement has been made on the previous year's plans.

'AEF has increased by 1.1 per cent or £60.0m, after allowing for the phasing out of reorganisation costs and the introduction of nursery vouchers.

'Next year, the level of AEF will be no less than 42 per cent higher per head of population in Scotland than in England.

'Next year's council tax levels are a matter for individual councils.

'But through the increase in AEF, the decision to retain capping and the continued provision of some £18m over and above the AEF total for the second year of transitional reorganisation funding.

'Provided councils are prepared to ensure the most efficient and effective service delivery, there should be no need for council tax increases on anything like the scale COSLA has been forecasting.'

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