The STUC has released details of its asks of Government and the key political parties ahead of a lobby of Holyrood on the local authority settlement.
The asks include the immediate ending of the Council Tax Freeze and reform of the Small Business Bonus scheme to provide much needed support for cash starved local authorities. The STUC is also calling on councils to honour agreements on pupil/teacher ratios and to agree to ensure the Living Wage is paid to all care workers.
The STUC is also calling on political parties to accept a range of policies for swift implementation following the election including local tax reform and a relaxation of the rules for local authorities for borrowing, lending and the repayment of loans.
STUC General Secretary Grahame Smith said:
“The Scottish Government has been placed in a very difficult position as a result of the UK Government’s continuing austerity agenda. This year’s settlement was even worse than most were predicting. However, this cannot obscure the fact that the settlement for local government is particularly bad and councils are effectively being denied to opportunity to raise their own revenue to protect services and jobs.
“The insistence on the Council Tax Freeze and the ill-targeted and ineffective Small Business Bonus scheme is at a cost of approaching £200 million per year. If the Scottish Government insists on continuing these policies, other means of raising income will have to be found.”