18th December 2017
Local Council services look likely to face substantial cuts as a result of the SNP Government’s draft Scottish Budget outlined last week. Rutherglen Liberal Democrat Councillor Robert Brown said the SNP had “massively overhyped” their Budget plans and had performed a “sleight of hand” on Councils, landing them with increased pressures and reduced Budgets.
Robert Brown said:
“Liberal Democrats wanted a penny on income tax to deliver a transformative investment in education and a step change in mental health. The SNP Government opposed this at the elections but have now been forced to do something. I welcome this but it amounts to little more than tinkering.
The SNP Government overhyped publicity suggested it was bonanza time for Councils. Instead they have tried a sleight of hand against local communities and local services – the result of the SNP Budget is actually a complicated mishmash which will be damaging to Council services. A,ccording to research by the Scottish Parliament, the Budget leaves Councils facing a cut of £183.7 million in real terms as well as having to find another £150 million to meet the Scottish Government’s unfunded pay policy.
The SNP go on about the evil Westminster Government but the SNP themselves have made a deliberate decision to slash Council budgets. From 2013-14 to 2017-8, Council budgets from the Scottish Government fell by 6.9% whereas the Scottish Government Revenue Budget fell by only 1.6%. Now Council services – which means road repairs, school staff, libraries, halls, social services – look like facing further substantial cuts.