Local Government Finance Settlement 2013-14

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 27th November 2012.

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Photo of John Swinney John Swinney Scottish National Party

I have placed at the back of the chamber a note—I think that it is as transparent as they get, although I would be the first to say that it is quite complex—which goes through the way in which we have removed the element of local government funding that is related to police and fire services. A number of adjustments are set out in that note, which is available for members to scrutinise.

With regard to on-going budgets, the police and fire services budget will no longer appear in the local government finance settlement; it will appear in the justice budget. Therefore, parliamentary scrutiny of the issue will be focused on the contents of the justice secretary’s budget rather than the local government settlement.

I mentioned in my statement that there is one remaining adjustment to be made, which relates to some of the funding arrangements that affect a couple of police boards in Scotland. Judgments on that are yet to be arrived at. The sum of money that is involved is relatively small in the grand scheme of things, but we are continuing discussions to seek agreement on the final adjustments that will be required. I stress that that applies, I think, to just two police board areas in Scotland.