Monday, March 03, 2008

Budget again ... sorry!

More on the local budget that's just been set - sorry, but I do feel this is all pretty crucial and could potentially have quite a negative impact on numerous 'service-providers' ... and much more worryingly, 'service-users'.

Thinking specifically about the ongoing debate around grants to Voluntary Organisations ... we know there are serious cuts in this budget area, whilst local Libs/Nats continue to accuse us of 'scare-mongering' - so how about some factual evidence:

  • have a look at the spin put on the Lib/Nat budget contained with the Evening News coverage on Thursday 21st February - here - check out paragraph 6 in particular were it says that "other savings, such as slashing grants for charities and voluntary bodies by £870,000, are set to be largely dumped. Some organisations will still see their funding cut, though the majority – including the Gorgie City Farm – will be safe." So that's the majority of the £870,000 worth of cuts to be rejected?
  • fast forward one day and look at this piece in the Evening News on Friday 22nd February - here - check out paragraph 10 in particular were it says that "Labour claimed the reduction in grants would amount to £2.6m, although the administration insisted the cuts only total £780,000. The details of which organisations will lose out has yet to be made public." So now we're getting an admission that serious cuts are to be made - just not how serious and to who?
  • now have a quick look at the Evening News coverage today - here - check out paragraph 11 in particular were apparently "It's unfortunate that Labour deployed the tactic of spreading fear that major (cuts) would be made to grants – that's proven not to be the case." So the figure of £870K was wrong, then we're told £780K and lastly we're told there will be no major cuts??

Confused - you will be after the next few paragraphs ...

Here are some ACTUAL budget-lines from the approved Lib/Nat Council Budget for 2008/09 ... I'm quoting directly and will provide a handy-total at the end; but try adding them up as you go along and see if you agree (by the time you get to the end) that 'its proven to be the case that there are to be no major grant cuts':

Children and Families Department;
- “reduction in commissioned services and grants” = £203,000
- “efficiencies in services previously funded by earmarked grants” = £639,000

Health and Social Care Department;
- "remove inflation provision for voluntary orgs / SLAs = £533,000
- "aids and adaptions" = £66,000
- “reduction in grants” = £325,000

City Development Department;
- “reduction in grants (including Capital Skills)” = £115,000

Services for Communities Department;
- “reduce grants programme” = £150,000

Corporate Services Department;
- “reduction in grants” = £338,000

- "reduce uplift to voluntary organisations" = £200,000

No - it doesn't add up to £870,000, nor £780,000 ... but £2.569million (that's nearly £2.6million!) being removed from Council grants via straightforward reduction, lack of inflation provision and 'efficiencies' (which is Tory-speak for cuts) in commissioned services provided by Council grant.

That's the agreed budget.

Only conclusion you can draw - they don't know what they've agreed??


Anonymous said...

"Only conclusion you can draw - they don't know what they've agreed??"...
or that they are bare faced liars. I know what I think!

Andrew said...


Do you know - personally, I really think that most of them just don't know what they've agreed!