Mid-Scotland Fife MSP, Murdo Fraser, took time in parliament yesterday to question the Finance Minister Derek MacKay on heavy cuts in local services being considered by SNP-run Perth and Kinross Council.
This is despite planned increases of up to £500 in the Council tax for the coming year.
The Shadow Finance Minister raised the fact that officials at PKC were considering cuts in the following areas:
- 24 fewer secondary teachers in English and Maths
- Scrapping primary school swimming lessons
- Reducing the opening hours of community campuses
- Increasing cost of school meals from £2.10 to £2.70
- Scrapping the community warden scheme
- Cutting 94 care home places across the region
In response the Finance Minister, Derek Mackay, insisted that spending decisions were for local authorities to make and that the Scottish Government was continuing to generously fund local services.
Murdo is calling for front-line services to be protected, especially as local authorities are planning large increases in council tax..
Commenting Murdo Fraser MSP said:
“Modest properties across Perth and Kinross are set to see substantial increases in their council tax bills, yet despite this, the SNP-run council is considering a whole raft of damaging cuts to services.
“At a time where bed-blocking is a huge problem it seems almost inconceivable for the Council to be considering cuts to care home places. At a time where the performance of our children in literacy and numeracy is slipping, 24 teachers in English and Maths face the chop. And at a time when community safety has never been more important this SNP-run Council is considering getting rid of the community warden scheme.
“It is time for the SNP to come clean. We know that Scottish Government funding from the UK is up more than £500 million over the current year, yet Councils up and down the country are expected to make tough decisions whilst increasing tax at the same time.
“I would urge the SNP administration on Perth and Kinross Council to think hard before deciding to cut services along the lines planned.”