Warn­ing rates es­ti­mates are around £28m too low

The Press and Journal (North-East) - - NEWS - BY JON HEBDITCH

Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment pre­dic­tions on how much Aberdeen would gen­er­ate in busi­ness rates are around £28 mil­lion too low, the coun­cil’s fi­nance chief has warned.

But de­spite tak­ing in the mil­lions in ad­di­tional rev­enue from firms, the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment will sim­ply take the amount off next year’s block grant, a com­mit­tee has been told.

At this week’s au­dit com­mit­tee, mem­bers were told it was es­ti­mated that around £255.6 mil­lion would be taken in from city busi­nesses this year.

But coun­cil co-leader Dou­glas Lums­den said that ini­tial Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment pre­dic­tions had been £227 mil­lion and he queried what would hap­pen to the ad­di­tional money.

He was told by of­fi­cers the amount would be taken from next year’s grant from Holyrood.

The Con­ser­va­tive said: “So our grant will be around £55 mil­lion then? Less than Orkney, Shet­land or Clack­manan­shire.

“Our busi­nesses are pay­ing more but we’re re­ceiv­ing less.”

But SNP group leader Stephen Flynn ac­cused his Tory ri­val of not pay­ing at­ten­tion point­ing out the fig­ures had been made pub­lic pre­vi­ously.

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