Funding to continue the Council Tax freeze across Scotland and to deliver other key local services has been backed by the Scottish Parliament this week with the passing of the Local Government finance settlement.
The £10.6 billion package of funding includes £343 million for the Council Tax Reduction Scheme that fills the hole left by Westminster’s scrapping of Council Tax Benefit, additional funds for Discretionary Housing Payments to help victims of the Bedroom Tax and £51 million to extend childcare provision.
It was also announced as part of the measures that payday lenders would no longer be eligible for rates relief.
Commenting, SNP MSP Adam Ingram said: “By backing this funding settlement Parliament has given its support to funding the Council Tax freeze for another year with over £1.6 million additional funding allocated to South Ayrshire Council, as well as extending childcare and providing support for Discretionary Housing Payments.
“These are all important measures that will make a real difference to people across South Ayrshire.
“The settlement also ensures that Scotland continues to offer the most comprehensive package of business support anywhere in the UK, with a rates relief package worth over £590 million.”
“However, whilst we are supporting the businesses that are the lifeblood of our economy, eligibility for rates relief is being withdrawn from the payday loan companies that cause such problems with debt.
“That is entirely right and the funding package that has been backed is undoubtedly good news both here in South Ayrshire and across Scotland.”