Council Budget Update

Branch Secretary Robin Taggart gives an update on the Council Budget.

Members may have seen reports in the local press regarding the significant budget challenges facing the council over the next two years. The estimated funding gap for the two year period 2023/25 is £15.2m before any council tax increases. This excludes the HSCP as its likely that the integrated joint board will take over the responsibility of developing budget cuts for HSCP services. The IJB budget gap for the same period is approx. £5m. They are in a slightly better position due to the additional funding the Scottish Government gave councils for adult social care last year. Members will have seen details of the Scottish Government spending review recently. It is not good as the council’s budget will be frozen until 2027 which means a flat cash settlement for the next 4 years.

Normal engagement with the trade unions on closing the budget gap will continue through the joint budget group. All previous cuts lists are back up for consideration. However to put this in some context, the cuts list from last year for non-HSCP services (which of course the council didn’t take) amounted to £1.9m and as we know many of those proposals were completely unpalatable to us. It remains our absolute priority to ensure that the council delivers a budget over the next two years with no compulsory redundancies. In order to achieve this the council will need to undertake voluntary severance trawls across much wider service areas than has been done in the past. We will of course seek a political commitment to the council delivering a no compulsory redundancy budget as soon as we start discussion with elected members.


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