Joint Trade Union Glasgow Budget Lobby

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Thursday 21 February, 12.30pm

City Chambers, George Square

The trade unions have met twice with the Glasgow Council Leadership over the past week (6 Feb) but it shone little light on their 2019/20 budget plans other than to confirm that they are not going to adopt the trade unions position of setting a one year no cuts budget and fight for more money from Government.

The Council’s refusal to set-out its plans only two weeks before the budget day is unacceptable. How is that consultation?

What we do know is that the ‘spending gap’, as they call it, is around £41M. 

So, we face another round of cuts in services, additional charges for services and increased council tax.

This is on top of £220M in budget cuts in the last five years. This is the equivalent of a 15% cut in the city’s revenue budget since 2013.  Thousands of jobs have already gone. Stress is up amongst the remaining workforce.  Services have been cut or lost. Communities will be hit once again.

The trade unions oppose the passing on of “Tory cuts” and believe that the anti-austerity mandate which Glasgow, and indeed Scotland’s, politicians have should be used to ensure no more cuts in council jobs and services. Much more could be done in the short term to hold off further cuts via borrowing powers, through the refinancing of PFI/PPP deals, by the use of reserves and by the Scottish Government using its tax raising powers more progressively.  This would not be a panacea but a tactic to protect services whilst fighting for more money and revenue raising powers.

The trade unions also believe that the current Scottish local government funding arrangements disadvantage Glasgow.  The multi-faceted impacts on council services of higher levels of poverty in the city are not sufficiently recognised at present.

Come to the Lobby!