Plea Over £20m Council Funding Crisis

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Plea Over £20m Council Funding Crisis

Council leader, Stephen McCabe has delivered a stark warning to the Scottish Government about the funding crisis facing local authorities with an estimated £20 million budget gap looming in Inverclyde alone.

Councillor McCabe has written to deputy first minister John Swinney, also the stand-in finance secretary for Kate Forbes who is on maternity leave, and laid bare the dire financial outlook for councils as he issued an urgent plea for more cash for local government.

In Inverclyde alone, the funding gap is estimated to be in the region of £20m between 2023-25 – or nine per cent of the council’s total budget.

The projected financial shortfall factors in the increasing costs facing the council for things like pay, energy and materials and also takes into account the government’s ‘flat cash’ settlement to cover the 2022-26 period.

The Scottish Government provides around 85 per cent of the council’s funding and Mr McCabe says Inverclyde and other local authorities are facing a ‘financial crisis’ and ‘unprecedented cuts’ unless more money is made available.

Mr McCabe said: “Times are incredibly tough for everyone dealing with rising costs and having to make ends meet and councils are no different.

“The stark reality for local government is that unless additional funding is made available then the only option is cutting jobs and services and increasing charges and fees and those are incredibly tough decisions none of us should be forced to make and I’m sure ministers at Holyrood wouldn’t feel comfortable if faced with those impossible choices either.

“There really is very little fat, if any, left to trim and unfortunately it will be the people of Inverclyde and indeed across Scotland who will be short-changed and who will suffer if a fairer settlement isn’t forthcoming.

“I urge the deputy first minister and the government to heed the warnings of local government and act now before it is too late.”

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