Magazine article Public Finance

McLeish Calls for Policy Rethink before Services 'Tsunami'

Magazine article Public Finance

McLeish Calls for Policy Rethink before Services 'Tsunami'

Article excerpt

Former first minister Henry McLeish has condemned the Scottish government-brokered freeze on council tax as a gateway to disaster', and called for a rethink of public spending priorities.

During a panel discussion on March 19, the former Labour MSP and MP, who led the Scottish government from 2000 to 2001, said: 'Demand for services is exponential. There has been no real discussion at the broader Scottish level about priorities - for example, the freeze on council tax is a gateway to disaster.

'The government didn't know local income tax was going to be scrapped when they introduced the freeze. If you carry on with the freeze for another three years, where will we end up? Councils are now desperately trying to accommodate that but they're cutting services.'

McLeish also warned: 'There's going to be a tsunami in public services. …

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