The SNP government has hammered East Lothian Council with cuts to their budget, putting lifeline services at risk.

New figures from the independent Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPiCE) show that between 2013-14 and 2018-19, the Council’s budget was cut by £135 per person in real terms. Across Scotland, council budgets were slashed by £810million in real terms.

The figures also show that over the same period the local government revenue settlement decreased at a much faster rate (-7.5% or -£810 million) than the Scottish Government revenue budget (-2.8% or -£870.4 million).

Scottish Labour say the cuts have put lifeline services at risk and show the SNP has not only failed to stand up to Tory austerity, they have turbo-charged it on councils.

Iain Gray MSP said:

“The SNP has hammered East Lothian with year after year of cuts. These cuts have put lifeline services like schools and social care under huge pressure.

“More than £800million has been stripped from councils in real terms in recent years.

“Instead of using Scotland’s powers to stand up to the Tories, the SNP government has used Holyrood as a conveyer belt for cuts.

“And we know these cuts have been made amid the government sitting on almost half a billion pounds of unspent cash.

“It’s time for Derek Mackay to listen to Scottish Labour and use this money to properly fund local services.”

Labour Leader, Cllr Willie Innes added:

“We have been dealing with the consequences of SNP funding cuts for many years now in East Lothian.

“The Labour administration has always done its utmost to protect essential services and keep investing in our communities, but the cuts make it harder every year.

“The cuts mean that waiting times for essential services have been extended.

“The SNP Government should stop its reckless and cynical cuts to councils and start funding vital local services properly again.”

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