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14 December 2007

Stevenson Welcomes £374.744 Million for Aberdeenshire Council

Banff & Buchan MSP Stewart Stevenson has welcomed the announcement by John Swinney, Cabinet Secretary for Finance, that Aberdeenshire Council will receive £374.744 million next year from the Scottish Government.

This money will not only enable Aberdeenshire Council to freeze the council tax but also allow the councils:

• to cut class sizes

• invest in social care including support for vulnerable people and for those with disabilities

• invest in our police services

• fund those caring for relatives and friends at risk

Welcoming the announcement from the SNP Government Mr. Stevenson said;

“This is welcome news for people in Banff & Buchan. I am delighted to see that under the SNP Government devolution is extending beyond the Scottish Parliament to local government level.

“The Scottish Government, in making this announcement today is supporting Aberdeenshire Council to deliver key local and national services to benefit people across the area.

“Under the SNP the council’s funding will increase by 4.6% in Aberdeenshire.

“I urge the Council to confirm that with this money they will freeze the council tax and avoid the 3.5% rise that would otherwise land on people’s doorsteps next year.

“People across Scotland suffered the weight of a 60% rise in Council Tax for over 10 years under Labour with the support of their LibDem allies.

“It is unfortunate that Labour, instead of welcoming this deal, are scaremongering, especially among vulnerable groups. The SNP Government is increasing the funding available for people with disabilities, mental health issues and victims of domestic violence amongst others.

“The SNP Government is taking action to ensure Aberdeenshire Council can meet all their commitments to people in the area and that local authorities have the financial freedom to respond to the needs of their local community.

“I hope politicians of all persuasions will welcome the announcement today and that Aberdeenshire Council will be one of the first to commit to freezing the unfair council tax.”

Stewart Stevenson
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