Mon 18 Dec, 2017

Scottish Ministers know we cannot support what is currently proposed, and they have serious work to do to alter their plans in the coming weeks. Patrick Harvie MSP

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%.

*In addition, if local authorities were to match the Scottish Government's pay policy, this would cost around £150m in 2018-19.

Patrick Harvie MSP said:

"This analysis confirms that the draft budget published last week would not enable councils to keep services running as they are, or to offer a fair pay settlement to their employees. We have been very clear with the Finance Secretary that we cannot support a budget that imposes real terms cuts, either to pay or to local government in general.

"Consistent Green pressure has shifted the budget debate in the right direction, prompting a fairer system of income tax rates and bands, and the principle of a public sector pay rise that matches inflation for most frontline workers. But this movement is not yet enough, and the draft budget is just a starting point.

“Scottish Ministers know we cannot support what is currently proposed, and they have serious work to do to alter their plans in the coming weeks."




SPICe analysis of local government budget for 2018-19

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