The SNP has presided over a loss of 22,000 jobs in local government since coming to power, new figures have revealed.
New analysis has also exposed how the SNP’s refusal to increase council budgets in line with inflation will leave local authorities short-changed by more than £500 million this year.
These findings have highlighted how the SNP has decimated vital local services, which are more important than ever as we enter the Covid recovery period.
In the third quarter of 2007, there were 230,000 full-time equivalent local government employees – excluding police and fire roles.
The latest figures for the final quarter of 2020 show the number stood at 208,000 – a near 10 per cent cut.
At the same time, Scotland in Union analysis shows that the local government budget for 2021/22 should have been £12.14 billion if the nationalists had passed on real terms rises since 2015/16.
Instead, the budget sits at only £11.62 billion, leaving hard-up councils missing more than £500 million for the financial year ahead.
Pamela Nash, chief executive of Scotland in Union, said:
“The SNP has taken an axe to local government services.
“It has short-changed councils of £500 million for the year ahead and has overseen the loss of 22,000 jobs.
“This would have a devastating impact at any time, but it will be felt more keenly as the country recovers from Covid.
“Local services are needed more than ever, and politicians should be focused on bringing communities together during the difficult years ahead.
“That’s why the SNP should abandon its bid to divide communities and put our recovery at risk with a second independence referendum.”