21 March 2019

An expert report published today (Thursday) reveals the brutal legacy of SNP cuts to councils.

The Local Government Overview 2019 report by the Accounts Commission reveals:

A growing gap between demand and resources

Real terms cuts to councils since 2013/14

Councils having less control over what they spend

A widening of the attainment gap – supposedly the SNP’s top priority.

Increases in council charges - including a 20 per cent increase in the cost of a cost of a burial plot since 2016

Labour said the report should finally get the message through to the SNP of the impact council cuts are having on people's lives.

Labour Finance spokesperson James Kelly said:

“This expert report exposes the brutal legacy of the SNP’s cuts to council funding.

“We know across the country local authorities are struggling to keep up with demand and having to make brutal cuts and increase charges as a result.

"It's simply horrifying that the cost of burying a loved one is soaring because of brutal cuts to councils.

“Now the accounts commission has revealed that councils have less control over their budgets under the SNP, going from 93.4 per cent control in 2018/19 to 87.9 per cent control in 2019/20.

“That’s the legacy of the SNP when it comes to council funding – more cuts, less local control.”

On the widening of the attainment gap, Labour education spokesperson Iain Gray said:

“Nicola Sturgeon pledged that closing the attainment gap would be her top priority – but years of cuts to councils have completely undermined that aim.

“This report should finally get the message through to SNP ministers that they can’t cut the attainment gap while cutting council funding.”

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