The Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA) has warned the Chancellor of the Exchequer of the deep risk facing Scotland’s Councils as a result of delaying a UK Budget until the 11th March – describing the decision as “extremely worrying”.
Whilst Local Government is a devolved matter in Scotland, COSLA is arguing that the significant delay to the UK budget puts the essential services Scotland’s Local Authorities provide to communities at risk. Traditionally the Scottish Budget would follow the UK Budget setting out the money available for Scottish Local Government.
Commenting on this, COSLA’s Resources Spokesperson Councillor Gail Macgregor said:
“By delaying the UK budget until mid-March, the UK Government is putting thousands of essential public services at risk of going without funding. COSLA is calling for the Scottish Government to do all it can to mitigate this risk.
“Local authorities carry out a complex and hugely important role in our society. As the employer for 10% of Scotland’s workforce and a procurer of over £6.3bn in goods we are the key economic driver for communities across the country. Any delay to our budgets means that these services are put at risk.”
“The UK Government’s decision runs the risk of delaying the Scottish Government’s budget. This significantly impedes the ability for local authorities to formulate their own budgets meaning Scotland’s communities are disadvantaged.
“COSLA is calling on the UK Government to provide Scotland with an increased settlement so that the Scottish Government can provide Councils with enough funding to deliver the vital services that our communities rely on.”