GREEN BUDGET SUPPORT MEANS CRISIS CUTS CAN BE AVERTED
Scottish Green MSPs point to cancelled cuts in local council areas across Scotland, thanks to agreement ahead of today's Stage Three vote at Holyrood on the Budget Bill.
Green MSPs have achieved more in this year’s budget than any party has won in any previous budget concessions, by persuading the Scottish Government to allocate an additional £160million for councils to spend on local priorities.
As part of the Greens' support for the Budget Bill, Scottish Ministers have abandoned their proposed tax giveaway for high earners.
Patrick Harvie MSP, Finance spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, said:
"The additional £160million secured for councils to spend on local priorities such as schools and social care means the core local government settlement is flat in real terms, compared to the cut the government had proposed. When you add in the £111million from adjustments to upper bands of Council Tax, it's a real terms increase.
"Other opposition parties set their face against the entire process, refusing to find common ground. In a Parliament of minorities, it's appalling that other parties would rather posture than roll up their sleeves and help protect local services. If we listened to them, the budget would fall and councils in every part of Scotland would have no choice but to immediately adopt emergency budgets with brutal cuts to services.
"Following a decade of an unsustainable Council Tax freeze and years of cutbacks, there is still huge work to do to protect and improve public services, and build the case for progressive national taxation and for more power at local level to ensure fair funding for public services."
This becomes a 0.7 per cent real terms increase if you include £111m for Council Tax reform, as this is money councils can spend as they wish. We do not include health and social care integration money as is this part of the health budget, and we do not assume a 3 per cent increase in Council Tax as this is for councils to decide.