Local Government Budget 2023/24

Dear Colleague

Next year the council may choose to make significant cuts to jobs and services in order to balance their budget for 2023/24. We will be doing all we can to protect members jobs as we have done in previous budget rounds. We will continue to challenge elected members budget decisions but we accept that a budget gap of £16m (which excludes all HSCP services) is not something that the council have brought on themselves. UNISON is in a perpetual campaign to get the Scottish Government to properly fund and invest in council services.

MSPs will be making some very important decisions later this month that will impact on funding levels for councils. We are encouraging members to write to local MSPs in an effort to get a better settelment for local government. Below is a template letter which you can cut and paste and send to MSPs in Inverclyde. I have also included Inverclyde MSPs details.

In my experience MSPs across all political parties need wakened up and held accountable for their actions. Please support your jobs and that of your colleagues.

Best Wishes

Robin Taggart
Branch Secretary

Dear MSP
I am writing as an Inverclyde council employee and as a member of UNISON to ask you to work in the parliament to secure an improved settlement for local government.
In August 2021 SPICE reported the total allocated to local government had seen a 2.1% reduction in real terms since 2013-14, whilst over the same period (2013-14 to 2021-22) the Scottish Government’s resource budget (not including NDRI) has increased by 2.3%. This clearly shows that local government has been underfunded and under resourced for years.
Whilst pay is now addressed for SJC staff like me for this year it took far too long to get a settlement and for money to hit pay packets. It is vital that next year’s award is agreed and implement on time. To have any prospect of workers securing an award that addresses the ongoing cost of living crisis it is vital that you argue in the budget process for a restorative settlement for local government.
UNISON believes there are ways in which improved funding for local government can be achieved. Firstly, by withdrawing the National Care Service Bill in order to allow for greater consultation and engagement on a National Care Service that enjoys the support and confidence of a wide spectrum of stakeholders including unions, in contrast to the almost universal criticism that has met the current proposal. Secondly, we believe that there are several measures that can be taken by the Scottish Government to increase the overall pot. UNISON’s Scottish Secretary Tracey Dalling set out some of these in Breaking, breaking – this just in: Holyrood can change things! – RADICAL SCOTTISH POLITICAL WRITING (scottishleftreview.scot). Lastly, the STUC have set out 9 steps for the government to take in their People’s Plan for ActionSCOTLAND DEMANDS BETTER (scotland-demands-better.com).
UNISON will be joining with other trade unions en-masse alongside anti-poverty campaigners and others from across Civic Scotland who are supportive of the People’s Plan for Action in a mass pre budget lobby / demonstration that the STUC will be holding outside the Scottish Parliament between 11am to 1pm on 8th December. Will you come out an join us?
Yours sincerely

Stuart McMillan
MSP for Greenock and Inverclyde (Constituency)Scottish National Party

Neil Bibby
MSP for West Scotland (Region)
Scottish Labour

Russell Findlay
MSP for West Scotland (Region)
Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Jamie Green
MSP for West Scotland (Region)
Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Paul O’Kane
MSP for West Scotland (Region)
Scottish LabourPaul.O’Kane.msp@parliament.scot

Katy Clark
MSP for West Scotland (Region)
Scottish LabourKaty.Clark.msp@parliament.scot

Pam Gosal
MSP for West Scotland (Region)
Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Ross Greer
MSP for West Scotland (Region)
Scottish Green Party

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