SCOTTISH Labour accused the SNP yesterday of passing Tory austerity on to the poorest communities after revealing that the Scottish government has tripled cuts to local authority funding.
Research by the independent Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPICe) shows local government budgets shrank by 4.6 per cent between the 2013-14 and 2016-17 financial years, while the Scottish government’s budget was cut by 1.5 per cent over the same period.
Labour warned that, instead of using the new powers of the Scottish Parliament to raise taxes on the richest and end austerity, Scottish government ministers had instead slashed £1.5 billion from local government funding since 2011.
Scottish Labour deputy leader Alex Rowley said: “This report proves that the SNP has taken Tory austerity and passed it on to Scottish communities.
“The SNP has cut spending in local communities three times faster than the Tories have cut the Scottish budget.”
Mr Rowley warned that local government cuts “fall on the poorest the hardest — the biggest chunk of council spending is on schools, nurseries and social work.
“This is SNP austerity, increasing poverty and leading to thousands of redundancies across Scotland.
“It is clear that Scotland is sick and tired of austerity. Only Labour is actively making the case to use the powers of the Scottish Parliament to stop the cuts and invest instead.”