THE Scottish Government’s Budget contains no money for public service reform, council leaders have insisted.

They also hit out at increases in the Government’s “internal costs” while their own budgets are disproportionately affected by cuts to capital funding.

Cosla - an umbrella body representing Scotland's councils - has said it is seeking an urgent meeting with Finance Secretary and Deputy First Minister Shona Robison stressing council leaders "will not let this lie". 

The organisation has been voicing its unhappiness with the Budget following a meeting of council leaders in December.

Deputy First Minister Shona Robison’s budget offered £144 million to councils as compensation for freezing council tax.

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However, Cosla said this would not fully fund the freeze, warning services would be at “breaking point” with “cuts in every community”.

In a statement on Wednesday, Cosla said: “The budget as it stands leaves not a single penny for transformational public service reform – there is very limited scope for a focus on spend to save.

“The 2024-25 budget shows a clear difference between the treatment of local government and other public bodies, with local government disproportionately impacted by cuts to capital funding.”

Cosla said the Scottish Government’s internal costs had increased by £40 million across capital and day-to-day spending.

The umbrella group continued: “A person-centred reform agenda based on prevention needs to be driven locally, where people are closest to and can take part in the decisions that affect them the most.

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“Forcing change from the centre denies local people and communities the opportunity to shape the services in a way that best meets their needs.”

Cosla added: “Cosla’s president, vice president and political group leaders from all parties have written to the Deputy First Minister and are seeking an urgent meeting.

“Council leaders will not let this lie, they simply cannot afford to because it will have such a detrimental impact on the communities they represent.”