Scottish Labour’s Community spokesman has attacked the SNP Holyrood budget for the next financial year, calling cuts to local authorities “scandalous”.
Scots Councils – including Falkirk – will get around 7 per cent less grant funding (in real terms) in the year ahead.
Early estimates are that Falkirk’s cuts have now grown from an estimated £45 million over the next three years, to £51 million.
Ken Macintosh, Scottish Labour’s community sp0kesman, said: “Anyone and everyone who relies on the vital services delivered by local councils across Scotland will feel the pain of John Swinney’s cuts. Many Scots are already suffering from George Osborne’s austerity policies but far from making things better, the SNP Budget made the cuts in our communities a whole lot worse.
“A 7% cut in addition to the council tax freeze means local people will have nowhere else to turn. This will be played out in reductions to our learning support services and our libraries, in the closures of our day centres and the removal of help for the elderly.
“Thousands of jobs are going to be lost – and every one of those decisions can be laid at John Swinney’s door. These are cuts which John Swinney and the SNP are imposing, not the Tories.
“It makes no sense for the SNP Government to say they want to put education at the top of the agenda then impose brutal cuts to the councils who deliver budgets for our schools and teachers.
“This attack on local government goes way beyond political loyalty and I am calling on every Councillor – SNP, Labour and every other party across Scotland – to do right by our communities and say enough is enough to Swinney’s scandalous cuts to our services.
“John Swinney said he would ‘consult’ with his ‘partners’ in local government before implementing his budget. We need to test him on his promise. Every council and every councillor in Scotland, no matter which party they are a member of, needs to let John Swinney know that if goes ahead with these cuts, the effects will be devastating.
“The poorest and most vulnerable members of our communities will be hardest hit, but every family will be affected. Every cut will be the responsibility of John Swinney and the SNP Government in Edinburgh.
“It’s time for our Councils to fightback.”