Political Correspondent

GLASGOW City Council’s budget will be cut by less that it expected, according to official Scottish Parliament figures.

City Treasurer, Allan Gow, had been anticipating a reduction of 2.5% equal to almost £60m worth of cuts in the council budget he will prepare early next year.

But following the draft budget plans by Finance Secretary, Derek Mackay, last week, the Scottish Parliament calculated Glasgow would receive 1.4% less in revenue grant than last year, less than the Scottish average of 1.8%.

However the council will have to find more money if it is to match the 3% pay rise the Scottish Government has said public sector workers will be paid.

Glasgow was working on an estimate that the pay rise could be 1.5%.

The analysts at Scottish Parliament Information Centre said it is not automatic that council staff will get the 3%.

In a report on the draft budget it stated: “Large parts of the public sector, such as local government and the NHS are not directly covered by the Scottish Government’s pay policy and pay is determined separately for these groups, although often in line with the Scottish Government’s pay policy and, in some cases, with some Ministerial control.

“For local government employees, pay and other employment matters are delegated to local authorities.”

Glasgow City Council is expected to match the benchmark set by the Scottish Government meaning cash will have to come from the budget pushing the level of cuts back up again.

Opposition parties said the SPICe analysis showed councils were getting a cut.

Patrick Harvie Green MSP for Glasgow, said: “This analysis confirms that the draft budget published last week would not enable councils to keep services running as they are, or to offer a fair pay settlement to their employees.

“We cannot support a budget that imposes real terms cuts, either to pay or to local government in general.”

James Kelly, Labour finance spokesman, said: “These are more than numbers on a spreadsheet, these are our schools, our social care services, local housing and community centres.

“Meanwhile, Derek Mackay seems to expect councils to deliver a real-terms pay rise in the midst of this.”