Laura Sharman 17 December 2015

‘Catastrophic’ budget will cost 15,000 council jobs

Council leaders in Scotland have warned that funding cuts of £350m – announced in yesterday’s budget – will lead to 15,000 job cuts and significant service reductions.

The Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA) said the ‘unacceptable’ austerity budget will see local government funding being cut by 3.5% in the next year.

COSLA president, cllr David O’Neill, said: ‘This is a budget that hits the council workforce in terms of job losses, it hits the child in care, it hits the elderly struggling with dementia and the vulnerable adults, all of whom solely rely on the support that only a council can provide.’

Cllr O’Neill added that the funding cut was particularly hard to bear given the Scottish Government was given a cash increase from Westminster.

He added: ‘A cut of 3.5% is catastrophic for jobs and services within Scottish local government – because the harsh reality is that it actually translates to real job cuts that hit real families, in real communities throughout Scotland. Everyone will be hurt by this.’

The budget has unveiled plans to transfer £250m from NHS to local authorities to support integration of health and social care, £70m to fund council tax freezes, and £88m to maintain teacher numbers.

Deputy first minister John Swinney said: 'The old boundary between NHS and Local Government spending – the boundary that has stymied so many attempts to improve care over decades - ceases to exist from April this year.

'So while this budget delivers a strong but challenging financial settlement for local government, we must recognise that the substantial investment in social care will support the delivery of that essential service.'

Trade union GMB Scotland added the Scottish Government had ‘missed’ the opportunity to use revenue-raising powers to increase investment in public services.

Alex Mc Luckie, regional officer at GMB Scotland, explained: ‘One good example of this is the decision to continue with the eight year freeze of the council tax. If council tax had kept pace with inflation Scottish councils would be raising an additional £427m in 2016/17.

‘There would be no need to raid Scottish Government central funds to compensate for these lost taxes thus increasing to amount available for the block grants to councils by £427m.’

SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Interim Head of Fostering

Tile Hill
Negotiable day rate
We are working with a local authority client in London who is looking for an Interim Head of Fostering, the local authority was last inspected as “... London (Central), London (Greater)
Recuriter: Tile Hill

Interim Head of Children in Care and Care Leavers

Tile Hill
Negotiable day rate
We are working with a local authority client in London who is looking for an Interim Head of Children in Care and Care Leavers, the local authority... London (Central), London (Greater)
Recuriter: Tile Hill

Head of Regeneration and Economy

City of York Council
£59,593 - £68,094
York is a wonderful place to live and work and it is quite rightly famous across the globe. York, North Yorkshire / Hybrid
Recuriter: City of York Council

Clinical Lead, North Essex

Essex County Council
Negotiable
Clinical Lead, North EssexPermanent, Full TimeUp to £57,869 per annumLocation
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Assistant Director Legal,&Governance/Monitoring Officer

Rochdale BC
£70,340 - £81,589
The Assistant Director role has breadth of responsibility beyond legal services incorporating Constitutional and Democratic Services Rochdale, Greater Manchester
Recuriter: Rochdale BC

Partner Content

Circular highways is a necessity not an aspiration – and it’s within our grasp

Shell is helping power the journey towards a circular paving industry with Shell Bitumen LT R, a new product for roads that uses plastics destined for landfill as part of the additives to make the bitumen.

Support from Effective Energy Group for Local Authorities to Deliver £430m Sustainable Warmth Funded Energy Efficiency Projects

Effective Energy Group is now offering its support to the 40 Local Authorities who have received a share of the £430m to deliver their projects on the ground by surveying properties and installing measures.

Pay.UK – the next step in Bacs’ evolution

Dougie Belmore explains how one of the main interfaces between you and Bacs is about to change.