SNP Finance Secretary Derek Mackay made a blooper in his calculations, and now it turns out Fife Council will be £500,000 short in the revenue grant promised by the Scottish Government.
The response of Fife Council’s co-leaders? Labour co-leader David Ross is presumably fuming in silence, gagged by the coalition agreement from criticising the SNP Government at Holyrood.
So up pops Fife’s SNP co-leader David Alexander with the happy news that all is well and the error “won’t have a massive impact on our budget process”. After all, what’s half a million between friends?
The real story here is that the SNP government is hammering local councils across Scotland. It has cut council budget allocations by 6.9% since 2013-14, even though the Scottish Government’s own Revenue Budget has only fallen by 1.6%.
The £29 million pound hole in Fife Council’s finances for 2018-19, a hole which Cllrs Alexander and Ross will have to fill with job losses, service cuts and rises in council tax and other charges, is entirely down to the SNP Government.
Fifers surely deserve better than an administration at Fife House which quietly does Derek Mackay’s dirty work. Whatever happened to standing up for the Council and the essential services it provides?