TRADE unions and community groups called on Glasgow City Council to set a “no cuts budget” yesterday, as they lobbied councillors meeting to approve the budget for the next financial year.
Unions Unison, GMB, Unite and EIS as well as community activists lobbied the Labour-run council as it prepared to slash £133 million from the budget over the next two years, despite having already made cuts of £250m since 2010.
Castlemilk Against Austerity activist Jean Devlin said it was “scandalous” that the council was even considering these cuts at a time when “people are living in dire poverty, scared to wash their clothes or heat their homes” for fear of the cost.
Ms Devlin said to activists: “Don’t be fooled that the SNP is an anti-austerity party” when it passes cuts on from Westminster rather than challenges them.
The council has confirmed that 1,500 jobs will be lost from vital front-line services in care, education and cleaning.
GMB convener for land and environmental services Chris Mitchell warned that these “horrendous and barbaric” cuts will “decimate communities” and blight workers and those who rely on Glasgow’s services.
Glasgow Council Unite convener Eddie Cassidy slammed the cuts as “a political choice” and warned that many services had already been cut to the bone or shut completely.
He said unions should organise “to not only stop these cuts but reverse them.”
However, council leader Frank McAveety warned that Glasgow has had “a double whammy” of Holyrood cuts piled on top of those from Westminster.
He accused the Scottish government of passing “a bigger share of the cuts to local government than those being passed on to it from the Westminster government.”