On the week that the Falkirk Herald ran with a headline, “council leader makes attack on Holyrood budget” where under pressure Labour Leader, Craig Martin, describes next years local government as “miserly” the Policy and Resources Committee that Cllr Martin chairs, produced a report that predicts a massive under spend for the third year running.
For the last two years Falkirk Council has under spent its budget by around £4.5m and £3,5m respectively with projections for this year of a further under spend of £2.4m and rising.
In addition the council is sitting on reserves of over £12m, £2m more than the maximum its own policy dictates should be the maximum held in reserve.
Martin went onto claim that “there were no signs of any new investment by the government” last weeks announcement of SNP Government’s funding for a new Carrongrange School and Falkirk Council’s bid for resources under the Falkirk Tax Investment Finance scheme (TIF).
SNP Councillor, Ann Ritchie, who is a member of the Policy and Resources Committee said,
“It was Harold Wilson who coined the phrase, a week is a long time in politics and this is certainly true in the case of Craig Martin.
A week ago he was defending the UK Tory Government’s attempt to cut up to £35billion from the Welfare Budget thus creating widespread poverty and misery for the most vulnerable in our community.
This week he attacks the SNP Holyrood Government despite the fact local government’s share of as shrinking Scottish Budget is a full 1% higher than it was under his own party.
Craig Martin has become an apologist for the Tory Party who have cut the Scottish budget by 11% over four years yet despite this Cllr Martin can not spend the budget eh has been allocated.
The people of Falkirk district are not as stupid as Cllr Martin clearly believes, They will see the obvious contradiction in the council leader’s spin, you can not post record reserves and continuously year on year under spend your budget by millions of pounds and claim to be hard done to by a government that has been more than generous in difficult times.”