Council budget cuts cost more than £139 a head on average

4 April 2018, 06:39

money

Cuts to local authority budgets mean councils are spending £137 a year less per head on average, new analysis shows.


Figures from the Scottish Parliamentary Information Centre, commissioned by Labour, outline changes in the real-terms total revenue per head figures for councils across Scotland between 2013/14 and 2018/19.

The average drop across all of Scotland's local authorities was £137 a head, which the party said was the "price of SNP austerity".

The analysis shows residents in Glasgow are £210 worse off a year while for those in Edinburgh the figure is £216.

Argyll and Bute saw a drop of £226 per person, while Aberdeen City, Stirling and the Borders recorded falls of £111, £148 and £116 respectively.

Among the smallest drops, excluding the island authorities which were said not to be directly comparable with the mainland due to their "exceptional circumstances" were North Ayrshire at £23 less a head and West Lothian at £67.

Scottish Labour finance spokesman James Kelly said: "These figures show the price of SNP austerity for individuals across Scotland.

"The SNP has slashed funding for lifeline services in recent years - and that translates as more than £200 a head since 2013-14 for people in Edinburgh and Glasgow.

"It means residents in places such as Aberdeen, East Lothian and Stirling have lost more than £100 of spending per head over the last five years.

"That is simply shocking."

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: "In spite of continued UK Government real terms cuts to Scotland's resource budget, we have treated local government very fairly.

"In 2018-19 councils will receive funding through the local government finance settlement of £10.7 billion, delivering a real terms increase in both revenue and capital funding.

"The total 2018-19 local government finance settlement delivers an increase of £342 million or 3.3% in support for vital local services compared to 2017-18."