Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The strange silence of Local Government

Rather than me, as a Labour Councillor, argue that the Scottish Government spending review is appallingly bad news for Scottish Local Government ...

... you could do worse than have a quick glance at the CPPR (Centre for Public Policy for Regions) two subsequent briefing notes following that initial 21st September announcement:
Taken together, these two papers make pretty devastating reading for Local Government in Scotland.

And, for Edinburgh in particular, where we've just racked up another £231million worth of debt ... taking our overall debt levels to well over £1.5billion (yes, BILLION) which now requires over £110million of revenue payments every year to service that debt (over 11% of our revenue budget, every year, being spent on servicing debt) ... we simply cannot afford to borrow more to help bail-out the Government's failing Capital programme.

Well, we could (and probably foolishly will) borrow more --- but I remain astounded that there's not an outcry about 11% of our revenue budget already being thrown into debt repayments - and not public services :-(

Over 10pence in every pound that the Council has, goes on servicing current debt, which is about to get worse if we do indeed bail-out the Government's Capital programme --- and if non-domestic rates collapse (highly probable given the state of the economy) we're now going to be in even deeper trouble.

Why are Scottish Local Government Leaders - even SNP ones - so silent on this?

Local Government in Scotland is suffering the worst attack on its general powers and fiscal position since devolution began in 1999 - and Council Leaders seem happy to be complicit with these actions.

Shame on them, I say.

No comments: