Council budget cuts cost city residents £200 a head

Stock shot of Glasgow City Chambers on George Square. Pic: John Devlin
Stock shot of Glasgow City Chambers on George Square. Pic: John Devlin
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Cuts to local authority budgets have cost residents in Scotland’s two largest cities more than £200 per head since 2013/14, new analysis has revealed.

A breakdown of the impact that the reduction in local government funding has had on spending across council areas was commissioned by Scottish Labour from the independent researchers at the Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPICe).

Some areas, however, were worse hit than others with those living in Edinburgh and Glasgow amongst the worse affected.

In Edinburgh, spending per head falls from £1,622 to £1,405, costing individuals £217.

There was a similar drop in Glasgow where spending per head falls from £2,216 
to £2,006 – a difference of £210.

Other areas to be badly hit included Argyll and Bute which experienced a fall of £226 per head.

Almost all 32 local authorities experienced a fall, but among the better performers were Dundee, where the reduction was £72 and 
North Ayrshire which saw a drop of £23.

Residents in Aberdeen are £111 a head worse off, East Lothian £129, East Renfrewshire £133 and Stirling £148.

Labour finance spokesman James Kelly said: “These figures show the price of SNP austerity for individuals across Scotland.

“The SNP has slashed funding for lifeline services in recent years – and that translates as more than £200 a head since 2013-14 for people in Edinburgh and Glasgow.

He added: “That is simply shocking.”

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “In spite of continued UK Government real terms cuts to Scotland’s resource budget, we have treated local government very fairly.

“The total 2018-19 local government finance settlement delivers an increase of £342 million or 3.3 per cent in support for vital local services compared to 2017-18.”