West Scotland MSP Jamie Greene has lodged a question on North Ayrshire Council’s financial settlement for next week’s Portfolio Question Time session in the Scottish Parliament.
In the session, covering Communities and Local Government, Jamie intends to press the Scottish Government on North Ayrshire Council’s financial settlement for the forthcoming financial year, ahead of the publication of the 2019/20 Draft Budget.
In the most recent budget, the Scottish Government cut North Ayrshire Council’s budget by over £5 million, in addition to implementing tax rises for 24,000 local residents. Balancing its books has been a difficult task for the local authority, which has seen its budget cut over the last number of years. Figures from the Scottish Government released in June found that North Ayrshire Council ran a £4.6 million deficit in the financial year 2017/18.
It was also revealed in June that the Scottish Government underspent its budget by £500 million.
Jamie said that after years of budget cuts local services in North Ayrshire have been significantly impacted by decisions taken in Edinburgh. He called for the Scottish Government to take measures to grow the economy rather than rely on North Ayrshire Council and its residents to shoulder the burden of tax rises and budget cuts.
Jamie Greene MSP commented:
“After years of budget cuts from the Scottish Government public services in North Ayrshire are under strain. Last year we endured a cut of over £5 million, whilst already running a £4.6 million deficit. The SNP need to account for the impact of their choices on local residents in North Ayrshire.
“It is even more insulting that whilst we endured these cuts, the Scottish Government underspent by half a billion.
“I’ll be pressing Scottish minister to take account of our situation and take different measures to balance its book, such as growing the economy, so it doesn’t fall squarely on the shoulders of North Ayrshire residents anymore.”