Budget is 'punishment for rejecting SNP at the polls'

A BUDGET cut from the Scottish Government will make it harder to deliver services in Glasgow, the city's council leader says.

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Gordon Matheson says Glasgow is being hit unfairly by government cuts
Gordon Matheson says Glasgow is being hit unfairly by government cuts

Finance Secretary John Swinney revealed how much each council will receive from his £9.9billion budget for local authorities, which he said was a rise of £35.2m.

Gordon Matheson, however, said Glasgow's share means the city has seen a cut of £75m.

Glasgow City Council has been allocated revenue funding of £1.178bn in 2013/14 and the following year that falls to £1.172bn.

The Capital Grant funding for the city in 2012/13, the current year, is £115m falling to £101.5m next year and then increasing to £143.5m in 2014/15.

Mr Matheson said: "I'm saddened that Alex Salmond's squeeze on Glasgow has continued.

"We know that times are tough and we have always been prepared to take our share of the pain.

"But the decision by the SNP to systematically reduce Glasgow's share of the local government budget is making it ever more difficult to protect services.

"If Mr Salmond had allocated the same percentage of the local government budget to Glasgow as in his first budget in 2008, the city would have an additional £75m next year.

"But, year on year, he has decided to take money out of the city.

"Mr Salmond saw this year's election in Glasgow as the first step on the road to independence but the people thought otherwise.

"The truth is his decisions have now deprived this city of £75m next year alone. It is hard to see this as anything but punishment for rejecting his plans in May."

Mr Swinney defended his budget which he said was in the face of cuts from Westminster. The cash also includes Glasgow's share of £70m to deliver the council tax freeze for another year.

He said: "This funding settlement delivers for local authorities and communities across Scotland.

"Despite the most dramatic reduction in public spending ever imposed on Scotland by the UK Govern-ment, the total support for local government in 2013/14 will amount to over £9.9bn, including revenue and capital funding and funding from non-domestic rates.

"This represents an increase in funding for the services of councils of £35.2m for new or extended service delivery compared to 2012/13. As part of our agreement with Cosla's leadership the settlement will help local authorities to maintain teacher numbers."

Opposition MSPs accused Mr Swinney of sparking cuts in services to vulnerable people.

Sarah Boyack, Labour's local government spokeswoman, said: "John Swinney called this a fair budget, but there was no analysis of its impact on jobs and no analysis of the impact it will have on people who rely on services which will be cut."

stewart.paterson@ heraldandtimes.co.uk

Local government

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