Additional Revenue Streams/Sources of Funding for the Delivery of Local Government Services

Mike Danson, Geoffrey Whittam

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report

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Expansion of local public services is possible with a fairer system of property taxes, and environmental charges:
Executive Summary:
•Local government has borne the heaviest burden of austerity cuts to the Scottish Budget since the financial crisis.
•While the Scottish Rate of Income Tax has restored an element of progressiveness to the tax system overall, the Council Tax remains regressive and increasingly based on out-of-date property valuations.
•Greater local control and autonomy over revenues and spending are supported by all parties in line with principles of subsidiarity and community empowerment.
•Recent reports, commissions and evidence from elsewhere support local authorities being able to apply a portfolio of taxes, levies and charges to fund their public services.
•Significant property taxes are essential to local government funding.
•New and alternative sources of revenue for local government can be identified based on their introduction and implementation elsewhere.
•The careful analysis and proposals from previous inquiries suggest a number of their findings and recommendations are sound, would improve the efficiency and effectiveness of funding for local government and should be introduced without further delay. Some of the Barclay Review proposals are being implemented and others should follow.
•Some of the proposals and recommendations here would generate new income for local authorities, other changes would rebalance the burden of taxation onto the wealthy and higher income groups. Some changes can be implemented immediately, some require legislation by the Scottish Parliament, others would require significant further devolution of fiscal and other powers from the Westminster Parliament.
•Experiences with introducing new charges and levies suggests there are advantages in communicating the rationales and aims to the public and implementing them gradually at lower rates initially.
•New legislation needs to be well designed, planned to minimise unintended consequences, with realistic timescales and expected outcomes.
Recruitment of additional council, government and agency staff to ensure that registration, regulation and collection of revenues is undertaken as identified in the Barclay Review and submissions from CIPFA, ICAS, etc.
Committees of the Scottish Parliament should examine whether the Small Business Bonus Scheme, and other reliefs from Non-Domestic Rates, are fit for purpose and determine what
Original languageEnglish
PublisherUNISON Scotland
Commissioning bodyUNISON Scotland
Number of pages42
Publication statusPublished - 18 Apr 2019


  • local government finance
  • local government taxation
  • revenues sources
  • Scotland
  • trade unions
  • Unison


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