Robert Brown – Comment on South Lanarkshire Budget
Rutherglen South Liberal Democrat Councillor Robert Brown said that South Lanarkshire had done a decent job on the Council’s budget – but criticised the cuts imposed by the Scottish Government in Edinburgh as leading to “salami slicing of services”
Robert Brown told the Council:
“We all know that public finances are tight but it is not good enough when the Scottish government gets a real terms increase in its funding together with control of taxes – yet passes on cuts to the Councils. A big fuss was made about the £7.78 million extra that came to the Council at the last minute following the budget deal in Edinburgh – but that only reduced almost £35 million of cuts we faced.
The SNP government have imposed cuts on Councils for some years now – that leads to the loss of a teacher here, a support worker there and generally to salami slicing of staff which makes it more and more difficult for the schools to provide the top class education we want.
To make things worse, schools have been struggling to recruit teachers and other staff. So the announcement of an increase in support for teacher training is welcome – except that it only partially makes up for the cuts in teacher training the SNP imposed earlier. It should be no surprise that Scotland has 4,000 teachers less since the SNP came to power, nor that we are slipping down the international league tables on education.
That is why the Liberal Democrats wanted £500 million of transformational investment in education through a penny on income tax.”