Budget decision delayed at Inverclyde Council

Stephen McCabe
Stephen McCabe

Inverclyde Council has agreed to freeze its council tax but for the first time has postponed setting its budget for next year until next month.

For the ninth year in a row households in Band D in Inverclyde will receive bills for £1198.

In line with other local authorities in Scotland, Inverclyde Council normally sets its council tax for the following financial year at the same time as it agrees its revenue budget.

However, the local authority has cited the Scottish Government’s Local Government Grant Settlement for 2016/17 being “significantly less than expected” for the delay.

It said the grant reduction of £6.53 million (3.9 per cent) represents a £4.23m greater cash cut than had been projected and built-in to the council’s budget consultation exercise.

Council leader Councillor Stephen McCabe said: “The Scottish Government has made it clear the penalty would have been far more than we had anticipated if we had not frozen our council tax for the ninth year in a row. While we know enough about our financial position to be able to set the council tax for the next financial year we have also decided to wait until Thursday 10 March to set our two year revenue budget for 2016/18. At the very least we can now issue bills to households in time to ensure payments begin in April.”

Councillor McCabe added: “There is no doubt difficult decisions have still to be taken the all-party members’ budget working group will continue to work towards closing the £4m funding gap while protecting jobs and essential services.”

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