South Scotland Labour MSP Colin Smyth and Council Leader Elaine Murray have criticised the SNP/Green Budget deal in the Scottish Parliament as it leaves Dumfries and Galloway Council with a £16million funding gap.


In an e-mail from Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Head of Finance and Procurement to councillors, officials have confirmed that the funding gap is be £15.969 million.

The deal means council tax can be hiked by 4.79% instead of the previous 3% cap. However, in total this would generate £3.37 million still leaving a funding gap of £12.599million to be filled by cuts to services.

Councillor Elaine Murray said, “Despite SNP and Green spin this budget deal is not extra money for Dumfries and Galloway Council. It is a massive cut in our grant and leaves the council having to find £16million in higher taxes and cuts to local services.

After already making almost £100 million of cuts over the past eight years, our Council services have been cut to the bone. Councillors of all parties a week ago called for a fair funding settlement and for local services to be protected. It is disappointing that the Scottish Government and the Green party have failed to listen to our call. The  people of our region will feel aggrieved that Government cuts mean that to balance the books the council will have to reduce services even although the council tax is going up”

Analysis from independent experts the Scottish Parliament Information Centre shows that £230.7million of real terms cuts will be imposed on councils across the country.

That means cuts to lifeline services for the most vulnerable people in our society, whilst at the same time SNP Cabinet Secretaries will pay £140 less in tax next year.

Colin Smyth said, “The SNP and Greens have once again joined together to impose cuts in our local council budget and that will hit the lifeline services so many local people rely on in our area. While council workers face the threat of losing their jobs, SNP Cabinet Secretaries will be £140 richer thanks to income tax cuts agreed in the budget and that is an utter disgrace”.