15 February 2008
Scotland's largest local authority is to shed more than 400 posts following its decision to freeze council tax in line with the policy of the Scottish government.
Glasgow City Council agreed this week to freeze its Band D tax at £1,213. But, despite additional funding from Holyrood, the council is planning to axe 1.5% of its staff — equivalent to around 420 employees, including teachers and care workers.
Unions immediately voiced concern at the impact on jobs, warning that the freeze expected to be imposed by the majority of Scotland's 32 councils could have a similar effect nationwide. Finance Secretary John Swinney allocated an extra £70m in the 2008/09 local government settlement to keep council tax bills at the same level as in the current financial year.
It is the third year in a row that Glasgow has decided to freeze council tax bills. City treasurer Stephen Curran said that the £7.8m the council had received to enable it to peg council tax bills was enough to offset inflation but did not pay for the freeze. 'The extra £7.8m, while welcome, doesn't even cover the extra money required for fire and police boards. This administration paid for the council tax freeze from efficiencies achieved through strong leadership and good governance.'