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Swinney confirms council tax freeze

Council tax in Scotland has been frozen for the seventh year in a row.

With local authorities across the country having set their budget, Finance Secretary John Swinney said the continuation of the freeze was "good news" for families as they would save cash in a "challenging economic climate".

The freeze is being funded as part of the £10.6 billion of Scottish Government cash that will be used to deliver local services during 2014-15.

As part of the deal between the Government and councils, local authorities have agreed to maintain teacher numbers in line with pupil numbers and provide places for teachers on their probationary year in the classroom.

The funding for councils for next year includes £343 million for the council tax reduction scheme - which replaces the council tax benefit - £51 million for childcare and £20 million for discretionary housing payments, to help those in financial difficulty as a result of the so-called "bedroom tax".

The Scottish Government is also providing £15 million for free school meals next year, and £13 million to help with the expansion of childcare.

Mr Swinney said: "This is the seventh successive year that we have fully funded a council tax freeze, which is good news for communities and households who will benefit from the savings this brings in a challenging economic climate.

"Alongside this funding we are working with local government to support council tax benefit reform and welfare reform, as well as providing funding for free school meals and childcare expansion.

"This partnership approach with local government is delivering real benefits for the people of Scotland in the face of the biggest reduction in public spending imposed by Westminster on any Scottish Government."

Contextual targeting label: 
Local government

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