Inverclyde SNP Group Statement on Council Funding and Council cuts.
As has been well documented, Inverclyde Council faces serious funding pressures to sustain services at their current levels. The recent financial strategy of the Council sets out a funding gap over the next two years of £21.5M. The SNP Group have consistently challenged Council officials to make efficiency savings where they are possible, to that end around £3M has been identified that can be saved by looking at the way the council delivers services. That still obviously leaves a substantial gap.
The Council receives the majority of its funding from the Scottish Government, in fact only about 17% of funding is raised through charges and council tax. Therefore the funding the Scottish Government receives via the Scottish Block Grant from the UK government has an absolute impact on how much money is available to spend on our vital Council services.
Over a 10 year period the Scottish Governments funding is being reduced in real terms by 9.2%, this equates to £2.9Billion in cash terms. This means that by 2020 there will be £2.9bn less to spend on public services than there was in 2010. Despite this challenge Inverclyde has managed to set a balanced budget every single year.
Earlier this year the UK Government made a £1bn deal to secure the support of the DUP to hold onto power. Coincidentally, if the Scottish Government received the additional funding that the DUP secured in line with current funding agreements this would equate to an additional £2.9bn to Scotland.
Therefore we urge the UK Government to end its austerity agenda and provide the Scottish Government with the necessary funding so that we can protect and enhance our vital public services.
If the UK Government does not provide a fair funding package it will be impossible to sustain our council services at their current level.
The SNP Group will continue to make the case for protecting services and urge people to make their views known on the savings proposals the council is making. We guarantee that we will listen to the views of the public and ensure they are taken into account.
There are many budget proposals that we do not and will not accept under any circumstances, but we believe it is important that the people of Inverclyde are the ones that have their say on how important services are to them.