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Additional funding announced for local authorities amid COVID-19

The Scottish Parliament has approved almost £258 million of additional funding for social care, education and food provision for those in need.

The provision of a further £72 million is being agreed with COSLA and will be subject to Parliamentary approval in due course. This will bring the total additional funding provided to help Scotland’s local authorities combat COVID-19 to almost £330 million.

This extra funding is in addition to the local government finance settlement of £11.4 billion, which already provided an increase of £589.4 million or 5.8% in comparison to the previous year.

The funding is to prevent local authorities experiencing cash flow problems and the Scottish Government will provide £455 million in weekly advanced payments to councils until Parliamentary approval is secured. Councils received an additional £150 million in May, £255 million in June, and will receive £50 million in July.

Public Finance Minister Ben Macpherson said: “We have taken exceptional measures in every area of government as we deal with the challenges of COVID-19 - and that is particularly clear in our support for local services. To date, Scotland’s councils have received £405 million in advanced payments this financial year, and by the end of July this will have risen to £455 million.

“The Scottish Government has also relaxed current guidance on some of the education grants to allow additional resource to be diverted to the COVID-19 response.

“We will continue to work with COSLA and local authorities, as well as pressing the UK Government for urgent additional funding and flexibility for our partners in local government,” he added.

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