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Support to Communities (Highlands and Islands)

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 23rd March 2016.

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Photo of Marco Biagi Marco Biagi Scottish National Party

Highland Council is receiving £439 million from the Scottish Government and as my colleague the cabinet secretary has already said, the overall reduction nationally for local government is 1 per cent when the figures for health and social care are taken into account. That money is going towards achieving the living wage for health and social care staff and a further freeze on council tax bills and it is going to deliver great advantages for the whole of the country.

There are clearly challenges that each local authority will have to address in deciding how they want to deal with the financial circumstances. Those are the same financial circumstances and the same challenges that have been striking the entire public sector.

On the issue of funeral poverty in particular, the member will be aware of the work that has been done by the Scottish Government and Citizens Advice Scotland and that was launched by the cabinet secretary relatively recently. We will take forward action from that work.