Scotland politics

Councils blame Scottish government for 7,000 job losses

Refuse bins, generic Image copyright PA
Image caption Cosla says services are being put at risk

Scottish councils have claimed that 7,000 jobs have gone in local authorities over the past year.

The local government body Cosla has blamed the job losses on a reduction in funding from the Scottish government.

It has warned of similar cuts in the coming year if the government reduces the value of the support it gives to councils.

The Scottish government has said it believes councils have been treated "very fairly".

Cosla President David O'Neill said: "The Scottish government needs to realise that if as a result of their political choices the local government settlement is cut again next week - this will have severe consequences for jobs across Scotland.

"There were 7,000 job losses arising from the £350m cut to Scottish councils last year.

A further reduction in budget of similar proportions, on an already reduced base, will have even more severe consequences for job losses in councils and have a wider knock on effect for jobs within communities."

Image caption Local councils run services such as road maintenance, refuse collections and education

He added: "Consequences for families and communities will be severe due to reduced local spending and the economic vibrancy of many communities will be threatened."

A spokeswoman for the Scottish government said: "Audit Scotland last week published their independent report into council finances and found that local government had experienced the same reduction in funding as was imposed on the Scottish government by Westminster.

"It is therefore clear that local government has been treated very fairly despite the cuts to the Scottish Budget from the UK government.

"Local government finance settlements were maintained in Scotland on a like for like basis over the period 2012-16 with extra money for new responsibilities resulting in total settlements of £10.8bn in 2014-15 and of over £10.85bn in 2015-16."

She added: "The Finance Secretary will publish the Scottish Draft Budget later this month that will support our economy, tackle inequality and provide high-quality public services for all."

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