LOCAL MP CALLS ON CHANCELLOR TO END WETSMINSTER AUSTERITY ON LOCAL SERVICES

Following the Prime Minister’s statement at Tory Conference that “austerity is over,” Dundee East MP Stewart Hosie has today written to the Chancellor demanding that he ends “disgraceful” and “ideological” Westminster austerity on local services.

Between 10/11 and 19/20, the Scottish fiscal resource budget is being cut in real terms by 9.1% by the UK Government. Whilst real terms budget reductions to local authorities have been five times greater in England than Scotland over the period 2011-18, the Scottish Parliament’s very narrow set of powers means that it cannot mitigate the bulk of Westminster cuts.

In terms of local authorities, the Scottish Government is providing local authorities with a funding increase of £174.9 million in the 2018-19 budget. Taken together with the £77 million that can be raised through council tax, councils will have access to an additional £252 million in revenue funding. That is a 2.6% increase in cash terms and a real terms increase of 1.1%.

Public Expenditure Statistical Analysis 2018 statistics show per capita spending on health in Scotland is £163 more than England and £2,233 more than in Wales. Moreover, education spending in Scotland per capita is £206 more than in England and £167 more than Wales. Per 100,000 people, Scotland has 118 more police officers than England & Wales; 19 more GPs than England and 20 more than Wales; and 1,658 more teachers than England and 1986 more than Wales.

Commenting, Dundee East MP Stewart Hosie said:

“The Chancellor must use the upcoming UK Budget to end Westminster’s disgraceful and ideological austerity campaign on local services.”

Between 10/11 and 19/20, the Scottish fiscal resource budget is being cut in real terms by 9.1% by the UK Government. That is a disgrace. These cuts are hitting local services alongside the rest of the public sector. The Prime Minister said at Tory Conference that “austerity is over,” but it does not feel like that here in Dundee East.

Whilst local authorities under the SNP Scottish Government have received far better funding settlements than those in England and Wales, the Scottish Parliament’s very narrow set of powers means that it cannot stem the torrent of Tory cuts or the austerity of the UK Tory-Liberal coalition in which you were a Cabinet Minister.

Whilst real terms budget reductions to local authorities have been five times greater in England than Scotland over the period 2011-18, it remains totally unfair that my constituents in Dundee East are being impacted by tory cuts introduced by Tory-Liberal and Tory Governments they never voted for.

If austerity is over as the Prime Minister stated then you must use the Budget to ensure this extends to the local services.

Otherwise, my constituents will see this as yet another broken tory promise.”

ENDS


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