Laura Sharman 18 February 2020

Scottish councils warn budget will 'devastate communities'

Councils in Scotland have warned that efforts to tackle child poverty, climate change or deliver inclusive growth are at risk under the draft budget.

COSLA said that the budget will ‘devastate’ communities and hit vulnerable communities the hardest.

It warned that reports councils have been given a £495m funding boost in the budget are ‘misleading’ as it fails to take into account new policy commitments and inflation.

It argued that local government is actually facing a real term cut of nearly £300m. Cosla added that the settlement also does not consider successive years of cuts.

COSLA resources spokesperson Cllr Gail Macgregor said: ‘We called for Scottish Government commitments to be funded, inflation to be accounted for and restoration to the budget to reflect successive years of cuts to Local Government. It is unfortunate that a sphere of government in this country has not been listened to.

’This draft budget will impact on jobs, frontline services and local government’s ability to address inclusive economic growth, child poverty, wellbeing and climate change and does not address the growing demand most councils are facing in relation to services.’

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