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Even bigger budget shortfall for council

Monday December 28th 2015

In the wake of the Scottish Government Budget SNP led Midlothian Council says it is facing an even greater budget shortfall than anticipated in the next financial year.

The council was already tackling a projected £1.852 million budget gap for 2016/17.

However, Scotland’s Finance Secretary John Swinney announced last week that local government revenues will be cut by 3.5% for 2016/17. The funding package announcement sees Council Tax frozen for a further year and a continuing requirement to maintain teacher numbers.

Council Leader, Councillor Catherine Johnstone said: “We are still working through the details of the announcement and the impact on Midlothian.

“The initial assessment is that the grant we will receive next year will be £150.6 million, some £4.5 million less than we anticipated and so we have a significantly larger budget gap to address than previously reported.

“This is a hugely challenging time for us as we need to agree a balanced budget by February, so there’s very little time to make decisions.

“We’re looking at various options to address the shortfall and with time of the essence, there’s not going to much opportunity to consult about any cuts required.”

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