Dundee City Council finance chief Willie Sawers believes the Scottish Government’s budget will have little impact on local front line services.
With MSPs due to vote on the first stage of the SNP’s budget on Thursday, Councillor Sawers has said he is confident Dundee City Council will not find itself in a position where compulsory redundancies are required.
Mr Sawers was responding to comments made by Dundee Labour leader Kevin Keenan, who expressed fears Dundee’s education system could suffer if further local government spending cuts are announced.
Revealing his fears, Mr Keenan said: “Local government is in the front line for supporting people so the government must step up and do the right thing.
“If the budget stands, we will see the SNP administration in Dundee cut a further £12.5 million from services on top of the £23 million cut last year, a loss of £37.5 million over two years is too big for Dundee to take.
“I would remind people that last year’s cuts in education alone saw the closure of Menzieshill High School.”
Mr Keenan warned further cuts could lead to “classroom disruption” and added: “Last year’s cuts will be felt for a long time to come. Let’s not make things worse with deeper cuts.”
Mr Sawers is, however, confident that front line services will be “protected and enhanced”.
He said: “Once again we have a statement of doom and gloom from the Labour party.
“The SNP Government at Holyrood have once again, despite funding cuts from Westminster, delivered a fair settlement for public services in Scotland.
“The local government settlement for 2017/18 includes additional funding for schools, for social care, and increased investment to provide the Living Wage for all social care workers.
“Labour seem determined to deflect the blame from the Tory Westminster Government who are responsible for punishing cuts to Social Security benefits.
“Perhaps this year the Labour party will actually produce an alternative budget for the council rather than carping from the sidelines as they do too often.
“I am confident that once again the SNP administration will produce a budget which will protect and enhance front line services and will retain our policy of no compulsory redundancies.”