Lanarkshire council asks for additional funds to cover the cost of national insurance


North Lanarkshire Council administration is demanding an additional £4m from the Scottish Government to cover the cost of an upcoming national insurance increase.

The local authority insists the UK government provided additional money to Holyrood to finance the 1.25 per cent rise in staff costs from April, but that it was not carried over into next year’s deal for local authorities. .

Council leader Jim Logue says it will affect frontline services, but Scottish government officials say the block grant does not include limited funds for national insurance.

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The country’s 32 council leaders signed a letter last month insisting their funding will be cut by £371m in real terms, saying the biggest cost to employers from rising national insurance is one of the “key issues”.

Councilor Logue and his counterparts from across Scotland are due to meet Nicola Sturgeon this month and plan to “raise objections to his cash settlement” for the 2022/2023 financial year.

NLC will receive £719.4m over the next 12 months, with neighboring South Lanarkshire receiving £651.9m.

Airdrie Central representative Councilor Logue said: “As it stands, the budget deal does not provide for the new burden of increased national insurance contribution, estimated at a recurring £4m for our workforce, including teachers.

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“The UK government has compensated the Scottish government for this increase, but councils have been left to fend for themselves and unless this changes our costs will again have to be taken from frontline services.

“Why have councils like North Lanarkshire been singled out for such unfair treatment?

“All council leaders, including those led by the SNP, will rightly raise it when we meet with the Prime Minister as one of many issues that must be resolved if we are to provide the services our residents have come to expect.”

A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: “The Scottish budget takes into account the full range of pressures in different areas and consequently increases the local government settlement by over £900m next year.

“The Scottish Tax Commission has highlighted that the 2022/2023 overall budget is 2.6% lower than this year in cash terms and 5.2% lower after taking into account inflation, due to reduced Covid-19 funding and the drop in UK government equity funding. ”

North Lanarkshire will set its budget for next year on Thursday, February 17, at a special meeting which will also include the determination of homeowners’ council tax rates for 2022/2023.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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