THE SCOTTISH BUDGET

Baillie says the SNP/Green deal will still mean cuts for councils

Jackie Baillie MSP, Patrick Harvie and Nicola Sturgeon.

By Bill Heaney

Dumbarton and Lomond constituency MSP, Jackie Baillie, has hit back at claims that the eleventh hour pact between the SNP government and the Green party will mean more money for cash-strapped councils.

She claims the SNP’s budget deal with the Scottish Green’s will not protect vital public services, as claimed by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

During the stage one debate in the Scottish Parliament yesterday, the Scottish Government’s budget was passed with the help of Green MSPs led by Dumbarton man Patrick Harvie, a list MSP for Glasgow.

Information from the Scottish Parliament’s Information Centre (SPICe) shows that despite the SNP and Greens saying that this budget will deliver an increase in funding for Local Authorities, councils still face £230 million of real terms cuts.

As well as cutting core funding for councils, the budget also delivers a tax cut for higher rate earners, with those earning up to £124,375 paying less tax in 2019-20 than they did in 2018-19.

Jackie Baillie said: “The only thing the SNP-Green deal will deliver is cuts. Not only are they delivering cuts to council budgets, and cutting budgets for colleges and universities, they have brought forward tax cuts for higher earners.

“Councils are facing cuts of £230.7 million to their core funding. That is money which is used to deliver vital local services which are relied upon by our communities.

“The SNP could have used their power to ensure that the richest paid their fair share and given additional money to protect front line services in our local areas. Instead, the richest will pay less and the rest will suffer as a result.”

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