Green MSP challenges Edinburgh budget cuts as “public service vandalism”

Green MSP Alison Johnstone has challenged budget plans in Edinburgh which could see £141 million worth of cuts and the loss of 2,000 jobs over the next 4 years.

The council’s Finance Committee will debate the draft proposals next week (24 September) which have already drawn stinging criticism from trade unions and community groups.

Ms Johnstone said:

AJ at conf 2014“I am alarmed at the scale of the cuts proposed and the inevitability that they will impact on frontline services: from nurseries to care homes and from street cleaning to libraries.   I am also alarmed at the revival of proposals to privatise the running of public buildings, with inevitable impacts on public access and cost of use.

“Labour and SNP politicians have consistently and rightly condemned UK government cuts as too fast and too deep and yet here we see a programme from a Labour-SNP council doing exactly that. It is nothing short of public service vandalism.

“It is time for the UK Government to face up to the real costs of its wrong-headed austerity programme. And it is time for the Scottish Government to acknowledge that chickens are coming home to roost on the council tax freeze, under-funding of council services and the failure to give councils the income-raising powers which councils elsewhere in Europe take for granted.”