Anti-austerity group Fife’s People’s Assembly has accused Fife Council of hypocrisy over budget cuts.
The groups’s Tam Kirby said the local authority had shown its “true colours” after it announced 190 job losses and reductions to services, including the number of educational psychologists and nursery posts.
At last week’s budget meeting, councillors were forced to make tough decisions faced with a cutback of £12.8 million in 2018/9.
Council co-leader Councillor David Alexander said “genuine efficiency savings, not cuts” had been made.
But Mr Kirby said: “Forty councillors last Thursday voted for ‘the best they could do’ and cut even more from services, and announced another 200 job losses.
“This is sheer hypocrisy and is a clear case of political opportunism.
“They are happy to stand for election telling us all that they are against austerity. They are happy to have their pictures taken when we hold demonstrations and protests. But when it comes to the crunch, they renege on their own election promises.”
Mr Alexander, Fife Council’s SNP co-leader, said it was unlikely there was a council in Scotland which had not reduced expenditure.
“When it comes to fighting austerity Fife Council has exceptional mitigation measures in place,” he said.
“In this budget we mainstreamed our welfare support officers who up until now have only been funded year by year. These staff members, and others, do an outstanding job in helping people through the benefit cuts quagmire imposed by Westminster.
“The Scottish Government faces a £200m cutback in real terms from the Conservative Government for 2018/19 yet not one word of criticism is directed at Theresa May. We will continue to see budget reductions for the foreseeable future — in 2019/20 the reduction is expected to be £300m.
“Rather than just accept these reductions the Scottish Government increased some taxes and reduced others.”
Mr Alexander said 70% of people would see either no change or a reduction in tax.
He added: “However, the additional money from the Scottish Government and our modest council tax rise of 3% has allowed us to fund a wage increase for staff that, if accepted, for the first time in years breaks the 1% barrier.
“We have to become ever more efficient and we are.
“Many, if not all, of our budget reductions are genuine efficiency savings, not cuts. No job losses will be through compulsory redundancy.”