Heather Jameson 30 October 2020

Scots union calls for urgent meeting to address funding

Unison Scotland has called for an urgent meeting with Scottish finance secretary Kate Forbes in a bit to address the growing finance crisis.

The union has claimed we are in a ‘crisis of unprecedented scale’ and has said there needs to be immediate investment in councils after a decade of cuts and the pressures of COVID-19.

Head of local government for Unison Scotland, Johanna Bexter said: ‘The recent package of measures announced by the finance secretary contained very little new money – much of it comprised of a complicated set of ‘fiscal flexibilities’ which only increases debt repayment periods and switches money across different budget headings.

‘Those flexibilities are no substitute for a fair funding settlement and simply kicks the can of further cuts down the road.’

The union has written to Ms Forbes to address the issue.

The move comes as Glasgow City Council faces a £91m funding black hole over the next two years. The City has seen almost £400m cut from its budgets in the past decade and has now launched a ‘Save Our Services’ petition alongside its unions.

A recent announcement of extra funding for councils from the Scottish Government included some extra funding but was largely made up of ‘fiscal freedoms’.  The Convention of Scottish Local Authorities has warned councils need a further £500m, and has called for the current 3% council tax cap to be lifted.

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