Scottish Labour backs ‘Barnett-style’ funding for councils
Scottish Labour will back plans to establish a new funding formula for councils as the party launches its next paper on reforming the UK.
Leader Anas Sarwar will be joined by Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham at an event in Glasgow to announce the plan.
He will accuse the SNP and Greens of having “taken Tory austerity and compounded it” by not providing local government with enough cash for key services.
Labour says a Barnett-style formula is needed for councils to ensure they receive a predictable and set proportion of the Scottish budget.
This would be created independently, for example through a new local government commission or through the Scottish Fiscal Commission, and would be reviewed every three years.
Sarwar said: “Libraries are closing, roads are crumbling, bins are over-flowing, and councils are facing even more impossible choices.
“The SNP’s relentless contempt for local government has left current funding system in tatters. We need to put a stop to this daylight robbery and guarantee truly fair funding for councils with a new independent system.”
It comes amid continued strike action from local government workers in a dispute over pay with council umbrella group Cosla.
Refuse workers in Edinburgh are a week into a 12-day strike at the city’s busiest time of the year, with rubbish piling up in the streets.
Bin strikes begin today in 15 other councils, with more to follow in the coming days.
Local authorities increased their pay offer to five per cent at the end of last week in a bid to avoid the strikes but Unite, on of the trade unions, said it did not take this offer to members due to a lack of detail.
Meanwhile, Unison and GMB confirmed school and nursery staff will strike at the start of September after failed talks with Cosla.
The unions represent catering staff, cleaners, teaching assistants and pupil support staff.