Tue 28 Nov, 2017

Increasing funds for local government is one of our budget asks and we managed to prevent £160m of cuts the SNP had planned last year. Andy Wightman MSP

A publication by the Accounts Commission, showing the extent of the financial stress faced by councils, serves as a wakeup call to the finance secretary say the Greens.

Local government spokesperson for the Scottish Greens Andy Wightman says the report’s findings make it difficult for Derek Mackay to dismiss key Green demands for the forthcoming draft budget that include protecting public services and a real terms pay rise.

Lothian MSP Andy Wightman said:

“The Accounts Commission update on public finances is stark, damning, but hardly surprising. Its contents were just as relevant last year as they are today and that’s why we are entering Budget negotiations with the same pledge: our group of six MSPs will do everything we can to protect and enhance public finances.

“Increasing funds for local government is one of our budget asks and we managed to prevent £160m of cuts the SNP had planned last year. The SNP has stalled on local tax reform, but ministers now need to show they seriously want to reverse the cuts made in previous years. The challenge facing Derek Mackay will be in constructing an Income Tax proposal which meets multiple needs and raises enough revenue to deliver on promises like a ral terms pay rise, without raiding local services to pay for it, and without hitting low earners who are already struggling.”

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SNP Climbdown On Draft Budget Shows Greens Leading The Change

Wed 17 Jan, 2018

Following tonight’s vote at Holyrood, in which SNP MSPs voted to accept Green changes to the Scottish Budget on public services, workers’ pay and low-carbon infrastructure, Green MSP Patrick Harvie said:

"Tonight’s climbdown by the SNP shows they accept that their draft budget cannot command support in Parliament, and they have accepted our view that changes are needed to protect public services, improve frontline workers’ pay and invest in low-carbon capital projects.

Harvie says analysis shows ministers have work to do on council funding and pay

Mon 18 Dec, 2017

Patrick Harvie MSP, Finance spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, said today's (18 Dec) draft budget analysis by the impartial Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPICe) shows ministers have serious work to do on council funding and pay if they want support from the Green MSPs.

The SPICe analysis shows:

*The Local Government Finance Circular shows Total Revenue falling by 1.6% in real terms, or £157.3m.

*Councils could potentially raise an additional £77m, if all 32 raised Council Tax by the maximum 3%.

Our councils deliver critically important services and the decision not to provide a real terms increase to their funding must be challenged

Patrick Harvie MSP Fri 15 Dec, 2017

Derek Mackay has one of the most challenging jobs in politics. He has to construct a budget which not only balances the books, but defends against Tory austerity and meets rising demand for public services. He has to respond to the competing demands for investment in the future and also to the different views across a parliament of minorities.