Cuts are ‘un­ac­cept­able’

Rutherglen Reformer - - News -

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.”

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