Scottish Borders Council faced with £30m black hole

Scottish Borders Council is facing a £30m black hole in its finances over the next 5 years.

The figures have been revealed as the local authority launches a new public consultation ahead of its next budget, which will be set in February 2020.

The council’s financial position is so challenging that council officers have recommended a 3% increase in council tax each year over the next five years. Even with this increase, Scottish Borders Council will have to find £5m of savings next year just to balance the books.

Local politicians have said it is time the Scottish Government started properly funding local authorities, particularly given the extra money handed down from the UK Government.

Earlier this month, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Sajid Javid MP announced Scotland was set to receive an extra £1.2 billion in funding for next year as a result of increased spending in England and Wales.

John Lamont MP added: “The Scottish Government have been taking money away from councils for the last few years, so it is really no surprise that Scottish Borders Council have such difficult decisions to make.

“The situations is so serious that council officials are pushing for council tax to rise significantly each year for the next five years. I don’t back this move, but it just goes to show how bad these cuts from the SNP are.

“The UK Government is increasing the amount of money the SNP has to spend on our public services and have just announced a further £1.2 billion boost. There really is no excuse and the SNP need to start treating councils fairly.”

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