Cuts are ‘unacceptable’
Scotland’s biggest public service union said the cuts coming to South Lanarkshire and other local authorities were “unacceptable”.
Unison’s Scottish Regional Secretary, Mike Kirby said: “Unison Scotland recognises that Tory austerity restricts the options available in the spending review.
“However, it’s unacceptable that local government is bearing the brunt of cuts yet again.
“We’re now in the eighth year of the council tax freeze that limits how they can respond – this can’t continue.
“We need to discuss how to fund council services properly as they play a crucial role in everyone’s health and well-being.”
Rutherglen South Liberal Democrat councillor, Robert Brown, was also unhappy at the news.
He said the SNP Government had made a “deliberate choice” to hammer local government.
He added: “The SNP Government are directly responsible for severe cuts in education and early years’ services, other council services across the board, jobs and employment prospects across South Lanarkshire. It is an absolute and outrageous disgrace.
“As always, the SNP are claiming it is all due to Westminster – it is time for them to take responsibility for their own, poor political choices.
“More importantly, they should listen to people across the country and reverse these iniquitous cuts.”
But John Swinney defended the decision, saying cash taken from councils would go to the NHS to help with the integration of social care.
He said: “The old boundary between NHS and local government spending – the boundary that has stymied so many attempts to improve care over decades – ceases to exist from April this year.
“So while this budget delivers a strong but challenging financial settlement for local government, we must recognise that the substantial investment in social care will support the delivery of that essential service.”