Unite warns Scottish government to tackle ‘perfect sto...

Unite warns Scottish government to tackle ‘perfect storm of austerity’ facing Scottish councils

02 February 2016

Scottish local government cuts - day of action
WHERE: Main Entrance, Scottish parliament, Edinburgh
WHEN: Wednesday 3 February 2016 from 13:00 hours

Unite Scotland has today (Tuesday 2 February) warned the Scottish government that local government funding cuts, the council tax freeze and the repayment of maturing debts are creating a ‘perfect storm of austerity’ that could devastate Scottish council jobs and services.

Local government workers will descend on the Scottish parliament tomorrow (Wednesday 3 February) in protest against the £350 million council budget cut for 2016/17, which will result in a further 10,000 redundancies on top of 60,000 jobs lost since 2009.

Unite members will also reiterate calls for the Scottish parliament to support a lobby of the UK Treasury for the write-off of an estimated £2.5 billion worth of pre-devolution debt owed by councils, which will mature over the next decade, to alleviate pressure on local revenue budgets.

Unite Scottish secretary Pat Rafferty said: “Make no mistake our councils are being force fed an austerity agenda that’s been manufactured by the Tories in Westminster but delivered by the Scottish government.

“Invidious choices are being made across the country but the blame will ultimately come back to the Scottish government unless it is prepared to co-operate with councils and trade unions now to explore alternatives. 

“From that end Unite members have been making the case for an amnesty on pre-devolution debt owed to the Treasury by our local authorities, who are currently repaying as much as 44 pence in every pound of council tax collected to service debt.

“There is no quick-fix but we’ve lost 60,000 jobs across local government since 2009 and we cannot afford to lose tens of thousands more. 

“Urgent interventions are required if we want to sustain the local jobs and services so many of us take for granted and doing nothing will see them swallowed-up by a perfect storm of austerity.”


For further information please contact Unite Regional Officer Willie McGonigle on 07810 157912 or Peter Welsh, Unite Scotland Communications, on 07810 157931.

Twitter: @Unitescotland   Facebook: UniteScotland

  • Unite Scotland is the country’s biggest and most diverse trade union with 150,000 members across the economy.  The union is led in Scotland by Pat Rafferty.