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THREE-YEAR GRANTS FOR SCOTLAND ANNOUNCED

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Scottish finance minister Andy Kerr has said the three-year grant settlement announced for councils will help drive...
Scottish finance minister Andy Kerr has said the three-year grant settlement announced for councils will help drive forward 'real and sustainable improvements'.

Under the package, Scottish councils will receive£7.4bn next year, an increase of 8.5%. The allocation will then increase to£7.7bn in 2004-05, and to£8.1bn the following year.

Mr Kerr called the settlement 'challenging but fair'.

'The announcement does not mean any council is awash with money,' he said.

'It does mean, however, that councils will have the resources they need to deliver the improvements we are committed to providing without the need to raise council tax above previously announced figures.'

The Convention of Scottish Local Authorities called it a 'tight settlement' but said councils had won important concessions from the Executive.

* see LGCnetfor full details of the settlement.

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