Willie Rennie raised the issue of local government pay to Derek Mackay in response to the Budget statement. He was backed up by Anas Sarwar.
Derek Mackay claimed he had “increased the budgets in all the budget settlements” and “the resources that we have put into portfolio budgets have created the capacity to fund the public sector pay award”. However this is flatly contradicted by the SPICe briefing which shows that revenue support to local government will drop next year and that councils have not been given a revenue settlement sufficient to meet the £150m estimated by SPICe to pay the pay award.
Commenting on the report, Willie Rennie said:
“I raised the alarm last week. Council workers have been left out of the SNP’s budget as Derek Mackay has not provided the money to pay them any extra. The SPICe research briefing shows that councils are short of the £150m they need.
“Unless the Government changes its plans they will be forcing councils to cut public services to pay their workers the wages they deserve.
“His budget claims don’t add up. He has lumped capital on top of revenue to pull the wool over people’s eyes. He thinks councils can pay their workers with bricks and mortar.