SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS were forced to admit getting their sums wrong in calculating the level of funding local authorities would receive next year.
Moray Council will gain another £130,000 for the ‘mistake’ – but Aberdeen City will see £2million less in their annual support, while neighbouring Aberdeenshire will get £1.5million less.
New and revised figures had to be issued to all 32 local authorities without any clear explanation over who or what caused the error, although the Scottish Government insist the calculation error was in the distribution for each local authority and not in the overall settlement.
The admission came as the Scottish Conservatives accused the SNP government of a “double counting con” in the statement by finance secretary Derek Mackay MSP last week.
They are saying that a report from independent analysts SPICe discovered that included council tax rises of £70million to back up their claim that councils were receiving more cash.
Scottish Conservative shadow finance secretary Murdo Fraser said: “Dodgy Derek’s double counting con has been found out. In short, the Finance Secretary has signed off on the kind of creative accountancy that would make Fred Goodwin blush.
“NHS money has been double counted as cash for local councils. And the SNP has simply banked 3% council tax rises everywhere in Scotland, even though this is for local authorities to decide.
“Incredibly this is happening at a time when – as SPICE confirms – the SNP Budget is rising, thanks to decisions made by the UK Government. Yet because of the SNP’s incompetence, it is making Scotland the highest taxed part of the United Kingdom whilst still cutting local services.
“Nicola Sturgeon tried to hide these cuts using dodgy figures. This kind of spin and manipulation is a disgrace. Ultimately it is the First Minister who has to take responsibility for all this.”