Dan Peters 06 February 2020

Councils warn about 'hidden cuts' in Scottish Budget

Council leaders have complained about ‘hidden cuts’ in a Scottish Budget that will deliver £11.3bn for council services in 2020/21.

Resources spokeswoman for the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA), Cllr Gail Macgregor, said: ‘What we are left with when you factor in the Scottish Government commitments of £590m is a cut to local government core budgets of £95m.

'This is £95m in hard cash that will need to be taken out of frontline services for communities.’

COSLA president, Cllr Alison Evison, added: ‘Local government’s core budget, which provides our essential services, has been cut as a result of today’s budget.

‘I am really concerned that more and more of what local government does is directed by the centre.’

Local authorities will only be able to increase council tax levels by up to 3% in real terms.

Cabinet secretary for local government, Aileen Campbell, said: ‘This budget provides a fair settlement for our partners in local government and supports vital public services across Scotland.

‘Taken together with the flexibility to increase council tax, this local government settlement gives councils an increase of revenue spending of up to 4.3% in real terms to deliver local services.

‘This increased settlement will ensure fair, sustainable funding for local authorities.’

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