G R Direct - Free Dishwasher OfferG R Direct - Free Dishwasher OfferG R Direct - Free Dishwasher OfferG R Direct - Free Dishwasher OfferG R Direct - Free Dishwasher Offer
Monday 22 July 2024
 14.6°C   S Light Breeze
Ocean Kinetics - The Engineering Experts

Council / Late budget puts council services at risk

THE government has been accused of putting essential public services at risk after it emerged that the UK’s first post Brexit budget will only be published on 11 March.

Photo: Pixabay.

This late date means there is no clarity on the funding available for the Scottish budget, and, as a consequence of that, local authorities will be very late in setting their budgets for the 2020/21 financial year.

CoSLA, the umbrella organisation representing Scotland’s 32 local authorities, has now warned of the risk facing councils, including Shetland Islands Council.

SIC leader Steven Coutts said on Tuesday that the council was fully supportive of CoSLA’s call. “We need to ensure that all is done to ensure a timely budget is produced.”

He added: “The budget that is ultimately produced also crucially needs to provide a level of funding to ensure key services in Shetland can be sustainably delivered.”

SIC leader Steven Coutts. Photo: Shetland News

In a scathing attack on the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Sajid Javid, CoSLA’s spokesperson for resources, councillor Gail Macgregor said the late budget was putting Scotland’s communities at a disadvantage.

“By delaying the UK budget until mid-March, the UK Government is putting thousands of essential public services at risk of going without funding. COSLA is calling for the Scottish Government to do all it can to mitigate this risk,” she said.

“The UK Government’s decision runs the risk of delaying the Scottish Government’s budget. This significantly impedes the ability for local authorities to formulate their own budgets meaning Scotland’s communities are disadvantaged.

“COSLA is calling on the UK Government to provide Scotland with an increased settlement so that the Scottish Government can provide councils with enough funding to deliver the vital services that our communities rely on.”

Become a supporter of Shetland News


Speaking in the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday, finance secretary Derek Mackay said he has had no prior warning of the late date despite repeated calls for clarity on the budget date.

“The UK Government’s approach to the Scottish budget is completely unacceptable – the delay of over four months since their original planned date cannot be blamed on the general election, and suggests a disregard for devolution and a lack of fiscal responsibility,” he said.

“The failure of the UK Government to publish its budget at an earlier time means we do not have clarity on the funding available for our schools, hospitals and other vital public services.

“Despite this, we remain focused on introducing a Scottish budget for 2020-21 at the earliest practical opportunity.”

In a press statement published on Tuesday morning the UK Treasury said the budget would prioritise the environment, and build on recent announcements to boost spending on public services and tackle the cost of living.

These include investing in new hospitals, training thousands of new police officers, funding vocational education and the biggest ever cash increase to the National Living Wage.

The Chancellor said: “With this budget we will unleash Britain’s potential – uniting our great country, opening a new chapter for our economy and ushering in a decade of renewal.”

Become a supporter of Shetland News

Shetland News is asking its many readers to consider start paying for their dose of the latest local news delivered straight to their PC, tablet or mobile phone.

Journalism comes at a price and because that price is not being paid in today’s rapidly changing media world, most publishers - national and local - struggle financially despite very healthy audience figures.

Most online publishers have started charging for access to their websites, others have chosen a different route. Shetland News currently has  over 600 supporters  who are all making small voluntary financial contributions. All funds go towards covering our cost and improving the service further.

Your contribution will ensure Shetland News can: -

  • Bring you the headlines as they happen;
  • Stay editorially independent;
  • Give a voice to the community;
  • Grow site traffic further;
  • Research and publish more in-depth news, including more Shetland Lives features.

If you appreciate what we do and feel strongly about impartial local journalism, then please become a supporter of Shetland News by either making a single payment or monthly subscription.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.



Subscribe to a selection of different newsletters from Shetland News, varying from breaking news delivered on the minute, to a weekly round-up of the opinion posts. All delivered straight to your inbox.

Daily Briefing Newsletter Weekly Highlights Newsletter Opinion Newsletter Life in Shetland Newsletter

JavaScript Required

We're sorry, but Shetland News isn't fully functional without JavaScript enabled.
Head over to the help page for instructions on how to enable JavaScript on your browser.

Your Privacy

We use cookies on our site to improve your experience.
By using our service, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy.

Browser is out-of-date

Shetland News isn't fully functional with this version of .
Head over to the help page for instructions on updating your browser for more security, improved speed and the best overall experience on this site.

Interested in Notifications?

Get notifications from Shetland News for important and breaking news.
You can unsubscribe at any time.

Become a supporter of Shetland News

We're committed to ensuring everyone has equitable access to impartial, open and quality local journalism that benefits all residents.

By supporting Shetland News, you play a vital role in ensuring we remain a pivotal resource in supporting the community.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.