Figures obtained by Scottish Labour from SPICe have revealed that local government non-ring-fenced revenue funding has been cut by £898.8m in real terms between 2013-14 and 2020-21.
Despite the SNP’s claim to have provided a fair deal for local government at this year’s budget, these numbers demonstrate that, councils will continue to face brutal cuts to important budgets this year.
Local services in West Lothian are at breaking point. Scottish Labour campaigned hard for a fair deal for local councils but, by selling out West Lothian and all of Scotland’s councils, the SNP and Scottish Greens have passed further cuts onto our communities.
Scottish Labour called for free bus travel for all under 25s at this year’s budget. Instead, the Greens and the SNP cut a deal to investigate the feasibility for free bus travel for under 18s. Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery but this agreement pales in comparison to Scottish Labour’s policy and will deny opportunities for over 400,000 young people.
Neil Findlay MSP said:
“All across Scotland, local councils are at breaking point. Here in West Lothian we can clearly see the effects of years of SNP austerity on our communities.
“It is the most vulnerable in West Lothian that will bear the brunt of further cuts to local government.
“At this budget the SNP had the chance to listen to Scottish Labour and provide fair funding for local councils. They chose instead to do another deal with the Greens and enforce further cuts on our communities.
“Scottish Labour will not vote for a budget that damages the people of West Lothian and the rest Scotland, nor will we stand by. Scottish Labour stand up for the people of Scotland and oppose this budget.”