Wed 9 Jan, 2019

It’s high time he dropped this charade and faced up to the reality of his cuts budget by backing our calls for real reform of local funding and a fair deal for local services this year. Andy Wightman MSP

Scottish Greens local government spokesperson Andy Wightman MSP has blasted Finance Secretary Derek Mackay for continuing to mask multi-million budget cuts with ‘smoke and mirrors’ on local government funding.

Grilling the Finance Secretary at the Scottish Parliament’s Local Government and Communities Committee today (9 January 2019), Mr Wightman highlighted that the true extent of ringfenced funding to councils for national commitments is far greater than Ministers claim, resulting in hundreds of millions of pounds in real terms cuts.

Andy Wightman MSP said:

“Derek Mackay needs support to pass his budget but he’s not helping himself by continuing his smoke and mirrors routine, claiming to give more cash to councils but denying the true extent to which their hands are tied by Scottish Government ringfencing.  This ultimately means that cuts will fall most heavily on the services which matter to local communities.

“COSLA has even highlighted the absurd situation that while extra cash is being given to increase childcare provision from 600 to 1140 hours, cuts to Councils’ core budgets, which pay for the existing 600 hours, might mean those commitments can’t be delivered after all, unless Councils effectively ringfence the whole sum.  We could then end up with councils and Scottish Government passing the buck on who’s to blame, and the public deserve better than that.

“No one’s fooled by Mr Mackay’s claims of extra cash while they’re also hearing about real world cuts being proposed to vital local services like education, social care and community facilities as a direct result of his budget plans. It’s high time he dropped this charade and faced up to the reality of his cuts budget by backing our calls for real reform of local funding and a fair deal for local services this year.”

Get involved

More like this

Vulnerable children to suffer unless SNP cuts to council budgets prevented

Thu 10 Jan, 2019

Many of Scotland’s most vulnerable children are set to suffer unless the SNP’s proposed cuts to council budgets are prevented, according to Scottish Green MSPs.

It is past time for action on Council Tax

Patrick Harvie MSP Fri 14 Dec, 2018

Derek Mackay has unveiled his tax and spending plans for next year. For a minority Government, that’s only half the story. He must now find a way of securing the consent of at least one other party for the budget to pass at Holyrood.

Harvie accuses Scot Gov of ‘sleight of hand to conceal council cuts’

Thu 13 Dec, 2018

Patrick Harvie has accused Derek Mackay of ‘sleight of hand to conceal council cuts’, warning at FMQs today (13 December) that the Scottish Greens will not enter budget negotiations unless the Government gives councils the tax powers they need.