McArthur calls out budget settlement for Orkney

Orkney's MSP, Liam McArthur, has called out the SNP/Green Budget settlement for Orkney, described by the Council’s Leader, James Stockan as one of the "poorest settlement" of any local authority in Scotland. 

Speaking in the Scottish Parliament earlier today, Mr McArthur questioned the Minister for Public Finance, Tom Arthur, whether such treatment of Orkney Islands Council "reflects a government committed to island-proofing and supporting our island communities?"

Last week, Cllr Stockan stepped down from his position in COSLA following the dispute over the budgetary settlement from the Scottish Government.

In response to Mr McArthur, the Minister said "the distribution of funding through the needs-based formula is a process taken in conjunction with COSLA. Our deliberations in this parliament are with regards to the overall local government funding settlement."

Commenting afterwards, Mr McArthur said:

"This is a budget that short-changes local authorities across Scotland. However, it is clear that Orkney has been hit hardest.

"The Minister may try to point the finger at everyone else, but the Scottish Government cannot escape responsibility for putting local authorities in such a difficult position.  For most, if not all, this is likely to mean cuts in local services.

"In an Orkney context, where the delivery of services is invariably more costly, the impact of the 'poorest settlement' anywhere in Scotland, presents added risks.  It is hard to see how this squares with the SNP/Green government's stated commitment to 'island proofing' and supporting island communities."

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