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Last Updated: Thursday, 14 February 2008, 14:32 GMT
Local authorities 'to freeze tax'
Council tax bill

Councils across Scotland have been meeting to set their council tax bills for the coming year.

The Scottish Government struck a deal with local authorities which would see them receive extra cash if they agreed not to raise council tax charges.

Some councils approved their budgets earlier this week, with the majority holding their meetings on Thursday.

The remaining councils will set their bills next week. All are expected to confirm a council tax freeze.

Glasgow, Falkirk and Shetland were among the councils which met earlier this week to approve their budgets.

Those who confirmed a council tax freeze on Thursday included Scottish Borders, Aberdeenshire, Moray, Orkney, East Renfrewshire and South Lanarkshire.

'Swathe of cuts'

Although council tax bills will remain the same, the water charge, which is also included on the same bill, will rise.

The charges for water and sewerage, levied by Scottish Water, are to increase by 3.74%.

On Wednesday, the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (Cosla) dismissed claims that a council tax freeze in 2008-09 would lead to cuts to voluntary bodies.

The Scottish Labour leader, Wendy Alexander, had warned of a "swathe of cuts" to organisations across Scotland.

But Cosla president, Pat Watters, said the financial settlement agreed with the Scottish Government was tight, but he stressed that services were not being cut.

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