On behalf of Fife Council Joint Trade Unions I would like to express our anger and dismay at the savage cuts announced yesterday by John Swinney to the councils budget. This level of funding reduction will see thousands of jobs placed at risk and potentially will lead to some of our services being lost. Our members deliver vital services to our communities across the whole of fife many of whom are already suffering from high levels of deprivation this further attack will push more people into poverty and will leave our vulnerable residents not being able to access services they desperately need.
Under the previous SNP/Lib Dem administration we have already lost services such as Shopping Delivery and Playground Supervisors, have seen the contracts of our lowest paid workers slashed and have successfully defended attempts to privatise services such as Adult Care and Fife’s Care Homes. If this trend of sustained attacks on local authorities is not stopped we will witness the irreversible demise of public services.
An audit report published in the press in October 2015 showed that the SNP government had a significant underspend in 2014/15, we question why they appear to be amassing millions of pounds of tax payers money while local authorities across Scotland are facing unprecedented cuts to funding.
We would urge the Scottish Government to urgently reconsider its’ funding strategy to local authorities and to call an end to the 8 year publicity stunt that has seen council tax frozen in that time. Fife residents have been clear that they would be prepared to pay slightly more in council tax if it meant they could keep and improve the public services currently delivered.