William Eichler 24 February 2017

Scotland’s Budget ‘simply’ reduced local gov cut, councils say

Scotland’s Budget ‘simply’ reduced local gov cut, councils say image

Scottish councils have criticised new Budget as ‘simply a reduction’ in the local government cuts that were already planned.

Holyrood has described its 2017-18 Budget — passed yesterday by the Scottish parliament — as a ‘strong settlement’ for local government.

It includes an additional £160m investment — agreed at Stage 2 of the Budget Bill — to support local services.

Overall, it secures an additional £900m of expenditure, including £60m to expand early learning and childcare, £120m for schools, and £4bn of infrastructure investment.

Describing the Bill, finance secretary Derek Mackay said: ‘This budget secures Scotland’s social contract with investment in public services on a massive scale, support for our economy and help for those on low incomes.’

However, the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA) responded on Twitter, arguing the ‘additional £160m investment’ was just a reduction of cuts already in the pipeline.

‘This is not further money for councils - it is simply a reduction in the cut that we were going to get. Still a cut of over £200m,’ a spokesperson wrote.

 

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