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GLASGOW AIMS FOR ZERO INCREASE IN COUNCIL TAX

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The Labour executive of Glasgow City Council decided yesterday that the broad principle to be followed in its budge...
The Labour executive of Glasgow City Council decided yesterday that the broad principle to be followed in its budget for next year should be a zero council tax increase.

According to The Herald (p1) pivotal to the achievement of a nil council tax increase is the deployment of a£32m windfall from the government - which came after a tribunal ruled that Customs and Excise had been wrong to require payment of VAT on repair work and that the taxman should refund VAT overpiad by the city over 10 years.

The recent restructuring of council departments from 21 to 12 has, in addition to hitting senior officials, set in train a rationalisation among middle management which could see large-scale job losses, says the paper.

The administration has informed the new streamlined departments that a five per cent review of services is being sought. Directors have been asked to prioritise cuts of five per cent so that councillors can select 2.5% of those for action.

The executive recommendation will habe to be ratified by the full Labour group which is hopeful of taking decisions by late December or early January at the latest, subject to Scottish Office announcements on grants.
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