Extra budget cash for the council

The Scottish Parliament building at Holyrood, Edinburgh.
The Scottish Parliament building at Holyrood, Edinburgh.

Midlothian Council will receive a £2.6 million increase in funding from the Scottish Government following a deal between the SNP and the Greens to pass the budget at Holyrood.

Green Lothian List MSP Alison Johnstone said: “This deal is just the latest example of Greens leading the change in Scottish politics, from shifting the SNP and Labour’s positions on income tax toward a fairer structure and securing a ban on fracking. Last year we stopped the cuts; this year we’ve pushed the government even further and delivered a real-terms increase in funding for Midlothian Council.

“Greens stand firmly with local communities and public sector workers affected by years of cuts and closures and I’m proud that we’ve won an additional £2.6m of funding for Midlothian Council.

“While other parties continue to posture from the sidelines, Greens are making Midlothian and Scotland fairer. This is the latest step in a journey on restoring financial powers at local level, on which we will need to see far more progress before next year’s budget, as the annual fight against council cuts must not continue.”

Midlothian North MSP Colin Beattie (SNP) said the tax reforms in the budget will mean 70 per cent of taxpayers will pay less than last year, while higher earners will face a “modest” increase, to allow the Scottish Government to increase health spending by £400 million to £13.6 billion, lift the public sector pay cap and provide a package of investment in the economy.

He said: “The draft budget shows that where Scotland has the power, the SNP will take a different, fairer approach – and give Scots the best deal in the UK.

“Thanks to the decisions made by the Scottish Government, local government funding is increasing by inflation and today Midlothian Council have today been given an extra £2.63M to spend on local services.

“That’s a good deal for taxpayers and for public services in Midlothian – and is only possible because of the SNP’s progressive tax reforms, that are backed by the public by 2 to 1.

 “In the face of massive Westminster cuts, the Scottish Government is using its powers progressively to invest in our schools and our hospitals – and in communities across Midlothian.”