Devil and the Deep Blue Sea

Aberdeenshire Council today decided to meekly accept John Swinney's 2.6% cut in grant - and promised not to raise Council Tax.

They were forced into this position by the threat that if they raised council tax by even the smallest amount, the grant would be cut by 6.4% - leaving an even greater shortfall in resources.

The choice was not a real choice. The devil of a cut ... or the deep blue sea.

I worry about a government who argues for greater powers for Scotland but imposes straight-jackets on local government. Can't they see the inconsistency?

This continuing freeze is populist short term nonsense. Professor David Bell is right - there is no sense in an effective cut in property taxes which mainly benefit middle incomes when the poorest suffer most from council cuts.

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