Further council cuts 'will lead to severe job losses'

CUTS to local government funding in next week's Scottish Government spending plans will lead to "severe" consequences for jobs, councils have warned.

Cosla, which represents 28 of Scotland's 32 local authorities, said 7,000 jobs were lost last year as a result of a £350m cut to council funding.

A similar budget reduction next year will have "even more severe consequences" for both council jobs and the wider community.

"The Scottish Government needs to remember that in many areas the council is the largest employer and therefore a cut in council jobs has a devastating knock-on effect for people and local economies. Consequences for families and communities will be severe due to reduced local spending and the economic vibrancy of many communities will be threatened," said Cosla president Cllr David O'Neill.

"Any further reductions in funding for Councils, combined with an expectation that statutory services such as education and social care are maintained, can only mean a disproportionate reduction in discretionary services such as economic development.  

"Councils help thousands of businesses to start or grow every year, creating jobs in the process. A reduction in that support can only mean much less opportunity for job creation, a reduced opportunity to tackle inequality. This will have a detrimental impact on the local economies affected, especially in many areas still suffering from the financial downturn."