The Budget Bill offers little relief to hard pressed councils who are bearing the brunt of austerity cuts in Scotland. Public sector workers still take the biggest hit through their pay packets, followed by council services. Local government remains the only major spending portfolio to have a cut in cash terms since the financial crash. We would urge councillors not to be the passive administrators of cuts. Budget proposals all too often propose restructurings that rarely deliver what ‘s promised. Just moving the costs around like deckchairs on the Titanic. Then there is simple salami slicing, with no proper assessment of the impact on service delivery. We summarised some of these in a recent briefing to MSPs. There is also a statutory duty to ensure that proposals have proper equality impact assessments. Instead of claiming cuts have no impact on services, try developing needs based budgets.
Also Austerity Economics Don’t Add Up; health and care integration and housing staff surveys; and cleaning staff survey.