Unfair NIC hit to Scotland’s local authorities in budget settlement

The Leader of the Highland Council is calling on the Scottish Government to fund the additional NIC employer contributions as has been provided through Barnett consequentials.

The settlement to local authorities does not include funding for the increased National Insurance employer contributions for which the Scottish Government received compensatory funding from the UK Government. However, this funding has been passed directly to local government in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and to the NHS in Scotland.

Leader of the Highland Council Margaret Davidson said: “The increased employer contributions for National Insurance equates to £3.4m. This deficit would wipe out any 3% increase in council tax, without meeting any of our significant budget pressures.

“The Council is already facing a £3.9m core budget reduction, coupled with significant additional pressures. This will lead to some very hard decisions ahead.”

Depute Leader, Alasdair Christie added: “We are simply asking the Scottish Government to be fair to the people of Highland.

“The Council and our Highland communities and businesses will continue to feel the impact of Covid for many months and years ahead. It is imperative that we fight for every penny that we are entitled to in order to maximise our chances of economic recovery.”

18 Jan 2022