Unite has today (February 1) reacted to the Scottish Government’s budget criticising the continuation of cuts to public services. The budget falls at least £100m short of the gap identified by local authority group, COSLA, necessary to maintain current council services.
Unite welcomed legislation to allow councils to set a local “tourism tax”, but added that devolution of the tax must not come at the expense of further Scottish Government cutbacks.
The ability for councils to set a ‘levy’ on workplace car parking spaces has also been strongly criticised by Unite as an attack on the pay of public sector workers. Unite non-craft members, working in Scotland’s local authorities, voted to reject the revised COSLA pay offer by 55 per cent this week.
“The Scottish Government’s budget not only continues to underfund our public services by an estimated £100m, but also introduces a number of measures which, if enacted, could result in more attacks on public sector pay,” said Unite Scottish Secretary, Pat Rafferty.
“The ability for councils to set a workplace levy through car parking spaces is a desperate attempt to absolve the government from the funding crisis they have presided over.”
He added, “Although Unite welcomes the devolution of tourist taxes to local authorities, we are very clear that this should not come at the expense of further cuts to local authority budgets.”