Labour councillors to protest against SNP cuts

The SNP has cut funding for local services by £755 million since it came to power at Holyrood, according to Labour.

Picture: TSPL

Labour councillors from North and South Lanarkshire will stage a protest about “SNP Government cuts” outside the Scottish Parliament today.

Speaking ahead of the protest, Labour communities spokesman Ken Macintosh said: “Local councils deliver the services that families across Scotland rely on - whether it is care for our elderly or the education of our children, the work of our councils really matters.

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“But those services are under attack from two fronts, cuts from the Conservatives at Westminster and a second set of cuts from the SNP at Holyrood.

“The Scottish Government has the power to mitigate funding cuts to local services or even to ignore them altogether. Instead they have doubled the pain of Conservative spending reductions.

“To add insult to injury, the SNP’s tendency to centralise has taken away any power people might have had to make their own budget decisions locally.

“The long and short of it is that local government has been underfunded by the SNP.

“These are more than just cuts to councils - they are cuts to communities ...

“After eight years in power and with a majority in parliament the SNP Government has cut funding for local services by £755 million, cuts that are played out in demoralising and undignified 15 minute care visits, less help for children with additional needs and the outsourcing of public facilities.

“It’s time Scotland woke up to what the SNP Government’s record on local government is - town hall austerity for our public services.”

SNP MSP Christina McKelvie said: “When Tory cuts are hitting communities across Scotland, it’s up to Labour to explain why they voted with the Tories to keep economic powers in George Osborne’s hands, rather than backing SNP plans to transfer more substantial powers to the Scottish Parliament.

“Whether Labour like it or not, the fact is that the SNP in government is providing a good deal to local government in the face of huge cuts to Scotland’s budget from the Tories - perhaps these Labour councillors would like to apologise for campaigning shoulder to shoulder with the people implementing these cuts throughout the referendum.

“An embarrassing stunt like this is more suited to student union politics than serious political discourse.

“On local government funding, as on so many issues, it seems that Labour are going out of their way to ensure that they simply can’t be taken seriously.”