Over the last few weeks we’ve been working on an update to our campaign statement. This version was approved at the campaign meeting on 9th June 2022. (You can download the statement here).
Another Edinburgh is Possible
It is time to end the cycle of cuts to vital local services in our city. Austerity, outsourcing and privatisation has been legislated by Westminster via Holyrood and implemented by the City Council for too long.
Edinburgh has the lowest expenditure per capita on local services in Scotland.
Since 2012/13, Edinburgh City Council budget cuts have amounted to more than £300 million. If nothing changes, more huge cuts will inevitably follow over the next three years.
The cuts have already had a terrible effect on essential services. The most vulnerable, already exposed to cuts in social security benefits, have suffered most.
Covid19 added to an already bleak picture with increases in unemployment, child poverty, mental distress and the long term effects of Long Covid. The pandemic shone a harsh light on the gaps in local services and underlined the importance of key workers and provisions for health, social care, housing, and education.
Now huge increases in gas, electricity and fuel prices and the rapidly rising cost of living are tightening the screw further. This is not sustainable. We can’t go on in this way.
There is money to fund the services we need. The Westminster government paid more than £30 billion to private companies during the pandemic for outsourced services and equipment that was mostly wasted. Westminster, Holyrood and Edinburgh are all committed to outsourcing services to private providers who then rake off a large percentage of our local and national taxes to pay dividends to their wealthy shareholders. We need an end to outsourcing and the rebuilding of publicly run and democratically controlled local services. The wealth generated by our workers, service providers and service users could be sustainably invested to rebuild our city’s essential infrastructure.
For too long our city has been undermined by Westminster and a compliant Holyrood parliament with cuts meekly implemented by Edinburgh City Council. We call on elected councillors, MSPs and MPs to join us in linking the local with the national picture and campaigning for a reallocation of resources to transform lives and livelihoods for the better.