Commenting on the Scottish Finance Secretary Kate Forbe’s “package of financial flexibilities and extra funding for councils which could be worth up to £750 million to address the financial pressures caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic over the next two years”, which was announced today,
Johanna Baxter, UNISON Scotland head of local government said: “We welcome that the Scottish government has listened to our representations about the financial crises in local government. But the announcement today does not solve the problem.
Much of this funding has already been announced and the package of support is only ‘worth up to £750m’ if local authorities use all the ‘fiscal flexibilities’ set out. And all the fiscal flexibilities do is kick the can down the road. It’s like increasing the limit on your credit card – the debt is still there and will still have to be addressed.
We have already seen £2bn taken out of local government over the last decade. Coronavirus has caused a double whammy of extra demand for services and the substantial loss of income.
Jobs and services remain at risk and while we welcome constructive discussions with the Scottish Government we need a long-term commitment to local government services”
UNISON Scotland is the largest trade union in local government and the largest trade union in Scotland
You can read the Scottish Government announcement here: https://www.gov.scot/news/supporting-local-government-recovery/
UNISON Scotland Contacts
Johanna Baxter, head of local government: 07817 120894
Danny Phillips, communications officer: 07944 664110 firstname.lastname@example.org