COSLA has stated that the implications of the Scottish Government’s spending plans for the rest of the parliament are deeply concerning for communities across Scotland and fail to recognise the fundamental role Local Government has in addressing the Government’s own priorities of child poverty, climate change and a stronger economy. The ‘Resource Spending Review’, published on 31 May, shows no prospect of an increase to Local Government’s core funding for the next 3 years, which is especially concerning in the current context of soaring inflation and energy costs. This “flat-cash” scenario gives extremely limited scope for recognising the essential work of our staff, whose expectations around pay continue to be, quite rightly, influenced by Scottish Government’s decisions in relation to other parts of public sector. Put simply, the plans as they stand will mean fewer jobs and cuts to services. COSLA is seeking an urgent meeting with the First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Finance to discuss this further.
COSLA’s Resources Spokesperson Gail Macgregor said “Every year at Budget time, COSLA argues for fair funding for Local Government to maintain the essential services our communities rely on. No increase in our core funding damages these services and yesterday’s announcement will see this continue for at least the next three years. Our communities are starting to see and feel the difference”
Yesterday, the Fraser of Allander Institute also immediately recognised the impact on councils - “The local government budget will decline by 7% in real terms between 2022/23 and 2026/27…….the real terms erosion of the funding allocations of local authorities represents the continuation of a longer trend”