‘Barnett formula for councils’ rejection betrays local services

The SNP has been accused of betraying local services after rejecting a Scottish Conservative demand for fairer funding of Scotland’s councils. 

The plan would have given councils a guaranteed amount from the Scottish Government’s budget each year. 

The Scottish Conservatives say it would have been a localised version of the Barnett Formula and is necessary due to the SNP failing to properly fund local councils.  

However, following a debate on the motion today in Parliament, the motion was amended to remove the Scottish Conservative demand.  

Between 2013-14 and 2019-20 local government funding fell by £276m in real terms. 

This year, Scotland’s councils are facing a budget shortfall of £511 million as a result of the pandemic.

Scottish Conservative local government spokesperson Annie Wells MSP said: “Our proposal for a Barnett Formula for councils would have been a game changer for Scotland’s underfunded local authorities.  

“By amending our motion, rival MSPs have abandoned local service provision for communities across Scotland. 

“Our councils have gotten a rotten deal from the SNP Government for years and this was a missed opportunity to right a historic wrong. 

“We face extraordinary and difficult circumstances, and Scotland’s councils desperately needed a new guaranteed fiscal framework to keep up with the demand for their vital services."

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