Linda Fabiani MSP has called on Labour-led South Lanarkshire Council to confirm that they will accept the “excellent” budget deal for local authorities set out by Finance Secretary John Swinney today, which will fully fund the council tax freeze for another year.
The package will support local communities and economic recovery in the face of a 1.3 billion pounds cut in Scotland’s resources for next year from the UK Government. If councils accept the package, their resource funding for next year will reduce by an average of 2.6 per cent – a greater degree of protection than other parts of the Scottish Budget, and superior to that for local government in England, following Westminster’s cuts.
Commenting, South Lanarkshire-based SNP MSP Ms Fabiani said:
“Despite the unprecedented cuts being handed down to the Scottish budget by the UK government, John Swinney has still provided an excellent package for councils which will shield local services from the worst of the cuts.
“This is a deal which will protect free personal care and respite care, maintain pupil-teacher ratios in P1-P3 and measures to reduce teacher unemployment and support the continued delivery of 1,000 more police officers than were in post before the SNP came to office.
“In particular, the continuation of the council tax freeze is essential. Council tax payers in South Lanarkshire have already received valuable assistance with their incomes for the past three years of the council tax freeze. As the worst of the Westminster cuts begin to bite, that protection will be even more important.
“This is a very good deal, which does not shirk from the enormous difficulties facing our public purse, but which also protects frontline services, household incomes and hard-won benefits. These are the things that matter to people in South Lanarkshire. I urge South Lanarkshire Council to set local residents minds and rest and confirm that they will accept this deal.”