SNP Finance Secretary Derek Mackay has secretly squirrelled away millions of pounds in reserves whilst imposing real terms cuts on councils in his budget last week. A total of £54 million of money received from the UK Government has been transferred to the Scotland Reserve.
Councils across Scotland will suffer £230 million of real terms cuts to their budgets putting lifeline services and jobs at risk.
Constituency MSP, Jackie Baillie, has called on the Scottish Government to use the additional money to help local authorities continue to provide vital services.
“While councils across the country are facing difficult budget decisions, Derek Mackay has secretly stashed £54 million in reserves.
“This is money that could be used to invest in local services, such as education, social care services and cutting the grass!
“In West Dunbartonshire, the money could be used to invest in maintaining open spaces and litter services which are again up for cuts by the SNP council in this years budget process. And in Argyll and Bute additional funding could be passed on to the Health and Social Care Partnership so that they wouldn’t need to hike up prices for social care services.
“Local people will be shocked that Derek Mackay is prioritising topping up his reserves while imposing these shocking cuts on local services. I hope he will rethink this decision.”