Greens’ budget deal secures extra cash for Midlothian Council

Andy Wightman MSP
Andy Wightman MSP

The Scottish Greens deal with the SNP on the Scottish Government Budget last week has secured an additional £3.1 million for Midlothian Council.

The Greens agreed to back the Budget proposals if extra funding was secured for local authorities across Scotland. This extra cash for Midlothian now means that the council will receive nearly £8.1m more in Holyrood funding than it did last year.

Lothian Green MSP Andy Wightman said: “The public rely on local services such as schools and social care, and local facilities such as sports centres and libraries. The Green budget deal means that Midlothian Council now has £3.1m 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 immediate action and longer-term reform.”

Ministers have also agreed to a timescale for replacing the Council Tax system. This will be developed by a cross-party process starting before the summer, and legislation will be published before the end of this session of parliament. They have also committed to giving councils greater fundraising powers including the ability to charge a visitor levy, as is commonplace in other European cities and regions.

Lothian Green MSP, Alison Johnstone, added: “Scottish 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 reforms to Income last week’s deal shows yet again Scottish Greens are leading the change, making Scotland the fairer country we know we can be.”

Midlothian North MSP Colin Beattie (SNP) said: “With the UK government in complete chaos, the SNP in government are offering certainty and stability with a budget which protects public services, supports the economy, and helps build a fairer country.

“This budget uses our powers in a progressive way in order to protect and invest in our public services – with a major boost for the NHS.

“Giving our schools, hospitals and other vital services in Midlothian the money they need to deliver better services for our communities is vital to this government. This is why I welcome Holyrood’s support for the budget.”