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Date: Tuesday 2 February 2016

Further cuts to local services not sustainable, says UNISON Scotland

UNISON Scotland is calling for the Scottish Parliament to use its powers to put more money into local services. By 2020 expenditure on public services will be 12.5% lower in real terms. That is on top of the £2.5bn cuts since 2010.

This next round of cuts will mean at least another 15,000 job cuts for local councils. Of the 50,000 jobs that have been lost in devolved public services, 40,000 have been in councils.

The need for council services has not disappeared, remaining staff have to take on extra work, and do the best they can to deliver what they can. UNISON has the evidence to show our local services are in crisis and further cuts are simply not sustainable. 

Mark Ferguson, chair of the UNISON  local government committee said, "Local government services are vital. They deliver health, education, clean and safe streets, child protection and much more.

"In short they create a good society and the Scottish government should use every power they have to mitigate the worst effects of UK government austerity.

"The Scottish Parliament has tax raising powers - they can end the council tax freeze, they can work with councils to refinance PFI schemes or invest pension funds in public works, or do more to follow the recommendations of the Christie Commission and invest in preventative spending as a way of making sustainable savings.

"The bottom line is they have the powers to protect Scots from the worst of austerity. The need for local services has not gone away, so why should our local services?"


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