East Dunbartonshire Council now has a funding package worth up to an extra £4 million as a direct of a deal struck between the SNP and the Green Party this afternoon (January 31), according to local MSP Ross Greer.
The Scottish Greens today confirmed agreement has been reached with Scottish Ministers on a significant package of immediate budget changes and bold long-terms reforms to boost funding for local services such as schools, social care and libraries.
Ministers have also agreed to Green demands for a timescale for replacing the “broken, unfair” Council Tax system.
Ahead of tonight’s Stage One vote on the Budget, ministers are promising that in return for Green support they will amend their spending plans. Compared with the plans set out in the SNP’s budget in December, local councils will have access to a package worth over £200million more to spend as they see fit.
Today’s deal will mean East Dunbartonshire Council will have a funding package worth up to an extra £4 million as a direct result of the Green deal.
When combined with existing local revenue raising powers, this will close the £237m gap in council funding, identified by the local government body COSLA.
Replacing the council tax systemwill be developed by a cross-party process starting before the summer, and legislation will be published before the end of this session of parliament. The Greens have also won commitments to give councils greater fundraising powers including the ability to charge a visitor levy or ‘tourist tax’, as is commonplace in other European cities and regions, which can be invested in local services such as public toilets.
Council bosses had previously described the SNP Government’s proposed budget for 2019-20 as bad news, putting at risk the delivery of essential services. Green MSPs then successfully pressed hard for a fairer funding settlement along with a commitment to scrap the Tories’ unfair and outdated Council Tax.
Bearsden’s Ross Greer, Green MSP for the West of Scotland said: “Everyone relies on local services like schools and social care, and local facilities such as sports centres and libraries. Today’s Green budget deal means that East Dunbartonshire Council now has £4 million more than expected to protect these services and the jobs of front line workers.
“It’s welcome that after consistent Green pressure the SNP Government have seen sense and committed to our demand for both immediate action and longer-term reform.
“The Greens will always be firm but constructive in these situations. Scrapping the Tories’ Council Tax is a historic victory. All parties now have an opportunity to help bring about a fairer system of funding essential local services.
“On top of recent progressive reforms to Income Tax, today’s deal shows yet again that Scottish Greens are leading the change, making Scotland the fairer country we know we can be.”
Total Potential Value of additional funding and spending power
Argyll & Bute
Dumfries & Galloway
Edinburgh, City of
Perth & Kinross