Local Dumbarton Constituency MSP Jackie Baillie joined colleagues in the Scottish Parliament this week to challenge the SNP Government over its cuts to local government.
Analysis of the local Government settlement by the independent Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPICe) showed that for West Dunbartonshire Council between 2013/2014 and 2019/2020 its budget had been cut by 4%, or £13.2 million, in real terms. In the case of Argyll & Bute Council, their budget was cut by 12.2%, or £27.5 million, in real terms over the same time period.
Jackie Baillie MSP has said that these cuts are jeopardising vital and essential services in local communities and making it incredibly difficult for the councils to tackle local issues.
Commenting, Jackie Baillie MSP said:
“The SNP may talk about putting power in the hands of the people of Scotland, but Scotland is still one of the most centralised countries in Europe.
“The SNP has passed on cuts to West Dunbartonshire and Argyll & Bute Councils at four times the rate of cuts to the Scottish Government’s budget.
“The communities that West Dunbartonshire and Argyll & Bute councils serve have suffered for years at the hands of SNP and Tory austerity. We have seen year after year that local government is at breaking point. There is only one way to ensure we have local councils fit to provide local services and tackle the issues of the day and that is to provide them with the resources they need.
“As we approach the publication of the Scottish Budget my message and that of COSLA and Trade Unions to the Scottish Government is clear: stop the cuts to West Dunbartonshire and Argyll & Bute Councils and protect our services.
Notes to Editors:
- SPICe’s research document on local government finance: facts and figures 2013-14 to 2019-20 can be found here