Report shows Scottish Government has been unfairly squeezing funds for local council services

Andy Wightman MSP, Local Government spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, today (21 June) said a new report from the Scottish Parliament's Financial Scrutiny Unit shows the Scottish Government has been unfairly squeezing funds for local council services. 

The FSU Briefing, Local Government Finance: facts and figures, 2010-2018, shows that from 2013-14 to 2016-17, the local government revenue budget decreased at a much faster rate (-4.6 per cent) than the Scottish Government revenue budget (-1.5 per cent).

It also shows between 2010-11 and 2015-16 fees and charges for services have increased by almost 13 per cent, with income from fees and charges within education services rising by 29 per cent.

Andy Wightman MSP said:

“Green MSPs want to see greater investment in local government and greater fiscal autonomy for local government. That is why we secured an extra £160million for councils to spend on local services as part of our support for the Scottish Government's 2017-18 budget. It's also why we have been arguing for a new Fiscal Framework for local government. 

"It's clear from this new briefing that Scottish Ministers have been choosing to squeeze local council services harder than the Scottish Government has been squeezed by the UK Government's austerity agenda. Given the importance of local services such as schools, social care and housing, we need to see this trend being reversed, and Green MSPs will continue to put pressure on Scottish Ministers to take local governance reform seriously."