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Call for end to council tax freeze

A TRADE union has called for an end to the council tax freeze and reforms to local government finance as councils across Scotland set their budgets for next year.

Unison says the combination of austerity measures and the continued tax freeze has left local government "bearing the brunt of cuts".

Councils are agreeing their spending plans for 2014/15, with the trade union warning people will see services cut as a result.

The cuts are a "direct result" of the UK Government's austerity measures and the Scottish Government's council tax freeze, in place since 2007, Unison said.

It wants councils to be able to control their own budgets, including council tax, and not have them set centrally.

It also wants all political parties to get around the table to agree how to take forward reforms of councils' finance.

Mark Ferguson, chairman of Unison's local government committee, said: "Local gov- ernment makes up half of the public sector workforce, yet accounts for eight in 10 of the job cuts.

"These cuts are unnecessary and terrible for our communities. It is the most vulnerable, for example the elderly, disabled, and young unemployed, who feel it most."

Councillor David O'Neill, president of the Convention Of Scottish Local Authorities, said: "Cosla's job is to negotiate the overall funding settlement which comes to local government in Scotland. From then on it is rightly and properly up to individual councils to set their own individual budgets."

Contextual targeting label: 
Local government

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