John Swinney has moved his deadline for Scottish councils to accept his cuts to local services.
With the SNP budget set to impose £500 million of cuts on local services like schools and social care Mr Swinney has written to every council leader in Scotland moving from his deadline of January 22nd for an agreement on funding.
Scottish Labour said that delays in the agreement on local budgets were because of massive cuts being imposed on local authorities by the SNP Government.
The move comes as Alex Bell, the former head of policy for the SNP Government calls for the Council tax to be scrapped and follows on from Nicola Sturgeon’s poverty advisor recommending that the council tax freeze end.
Scottish Labour Communities spokesperson Ken Macintosh said:
“It’s no surprise that John Swinney is running into trouble trying to get local leaders to agree to his plans – his cuts would be absolutely disastrous for families across Scotland.
Cosla have already estimated that the half a billion pounds worth of cuts would cost Scotland 15,000 jobs
That figure does not begin to consider the services people will lose because of SNP government cuts – services like schools and social care which families across Scotland rely on.
John Swinney has backed down on the ludicrous timetable he set after locally elected representatives told him in short order what they thought of his so-called consultation, but he needs to re-think these proposed cuts. Local residents and council workers alike are angry and alarmed and they are looking to the SNP Government at Holyrood to revisit these Budget proposals.
Labour will set out our plans for a fairer alternative to the council tax in the coming months, but advisors to the SNP government past and present are making clear that the SNP should have been much more radical on local tax reform years ago.
After nearly a decade in office and a majority in parliament the SNP aren’t rejecting austerity – they are accepting it and trying to impose it on our local services.”