26 June 2020

The SNP Government must come clean over the years of deep cuts they have imposed on Scotland’s local authorities, Scottish Labour has said today.

Statistics from SPICe have revealed that, since 2013-2014, the Scottish Government has cut the local government revenue budget at more than twice the rate that the Scottish Government’s own budget was cut in real terms.

Yesterday, the Scottish Government announced that it expects councils to make use of reserves in place of proper funding from the Scottish Government.

Scottish Labour has said today that years of deep cuts to councils has left Scotland ill-equipped to deal with crises such as the coronavirus pandemic and are indicative of both the SNP government’s disregard for local authorities and their instinctive financial conservatism.

Commenting, Scottish Labour local government spokesperson Sarah Boyack said:

“The same councils that have stepped up to the plate and delivered for the people of Scotland throughout this crisis have been subjected to years of austerity and cuts thanks to the SNP Government at Holyrood.

“To instruct councils to make use of reserves in order to keep essential services going is not only financially irresponsible but an admission on the part of the Scottish Government that they are failing to fund councils properly.

“If the UK Government had cut the Scottish Government’s budget to the extent that the Scottish Government has cut the budget of Local Government then the SNP would be in uproar and rightly so.

“The years of underfunding and undervaluing Local Government must end. In the weeks to come, Local Government will be critical to getting our schools open and getting local economies moving again. It is time for the Scottish Government to invest properly in councils and empower them to deliver for the people of Scotland.”
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