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FORSYTH ANNOUNCES SUPPORT PROPOSALS FOR 1996-97

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Michael Forsyth MP, secretary of state for Scotland, today issued his proposals for the allocation of government su...
Michael Forsyth MP, secretary of state for Scotland, today issued his proposals for the allocation of government support totalling over £5.3 billion to the 32 new Scottish local authorities for 1996-97.

After adjusting for transfers of responsibility between central and local government, this represents an increase of £136 million or over 2.6 per cent in revenue support grant, specific grants and income from business rates.

The proposals will now be considered by COSLA and Mr Forsyth and Mr George Kynoch MP, Minister for Industry and Local Government, will consult with them on January 19.

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 28.

'After adjusting for transfers of responsibility between central and local government, the level of AEF has been increased by £136 million or over 2.6 per cent as compared with the current year. Local government current expenditure has consequently been treated very favourably, despite a tough public expenditure round. Next year, the level of AEF will be no less than 44 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 of 136 million in AEF: the decision to retain capping: and restrictions on the use of capital funded from current revenue (CFCR), the government are seeking to help council taxpayers. Local government reorganisation should also assist council taxpayers in many parts of Scotland. Provided councils maintain current spending levels, there will be scope in many areas for reductions in tax levels directly as a result of reorganisation'.

The table shows the proposed level of Aggregate External Finance (AEF) for each local authority for 1996-97. AEF is the total of Government determined support for local authority current expenditure. It comprises non-domestic rate income, revenue support grant and specific grants.

The English figure has an index of 100.

The Secretary of State is statutorily obliged to consult local authorities about his proposals for AEF distribution and will do so at a meeting with COSLA on Friday, January

Subject to the outcome of that meeting, finalised AEF figures will then be presented to Parliament in a Local Government Finance Order which is likely to be laid before Parliament and debated during February 1996. Subject to approval of that Order, the amounts involved will be paid to local authorities throughout 1996-97.

DISTRIBUTION OF AGGREGATE EXTERNAL FINANCE FOR 1996-97

Authority 1996-97 AEF

City of Aberdeen 195.282

Aberdeenshire 199.986

Angus 99.503

Argyll & Bute 111.481

Scottish Borders 110.368

Clackmannanshire 46.878

West Dunbartonshire 114.739

Dumfries and Galloway 151.508

City of Dundee 169.403

East Ayrshire 123.63

East Dunbartonshire 92.508

East Lothian 78.669

East Renfrewshire 70.856

City of Edinburgh 398.977

Falkirk 130.501

Fife 333.212

City of Glasgow 828.533

Highland 241.808

Inverclyde 101.591

Midlothian 78.036

Moray 85.968

North Ayrshire 137.97

North Lanarkshire 332.11

Perth and Kinross 115.251

Renfrewshire 175.134

South Ayrshire 107.128

South Lanarkshire 300.889

Stirling 84.103

West Lothian 147.235

Shetland 48.224

Western Isles 67.123

SCOTLAND 5316.576.

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