By Bill Butler 
Councillor for Garscadden/Scotstounhill

Glasgow City Council has now passed its budget for the coming financial year, set against the constraints of an SNP government in Edinburgh that has cut the funding for vital front-line services for the 11th year in a row.

Budgets are a reflection of values. As this was the SNP’s first in Glasgow, it paints a worrying picture for the years to come.

I was pleased to support Labour’s budget amendment; an amendment that would have mitigated completely the effects of the benefit cap and created a Care Leavers Dividend Fund to guarantee those young people leaving care at least £500 as they set out on their own.

Labour put forward a budget that was bold, radical and realistic. It was a budget that put fairness and social justice at its heart.

But, unfortunately, it did not pass.

The SNP’s budget is a cause for concern. Where Labour wanted to more than double the school clothing grant, from £52 to £130 per child, the SNP have doubled the fees for early years childcare to £5 an hour.

The average Glaswegian, working full-time, earns £15.79 an hour. So the SNP want working parents to pay almost a THIRD of their wages in childcare. Put another way, a working parent will be expected to pay an additional £186 a month in childcare.

Glasgow Labour also put forward a proposal for Glasgow to participate in a nationwide collective switching scheme, to save the average household an average of £200 on their energy bills every year.

Labour’s proposals would have asked those with empty homes to pay more on their council tax to protect more than 700 households in our city that are suffering the benefit cap and the worst of Tory welfare reform.

Instead, this SNP administration want you to pay £45 more for a cremation, and nearly £2,500 for a burial.

I voted for a budget that put you and our communities at its heart.
Budgets are a reflection of values. This budget has thrown into sharp relief the fact that only Labour is willing to stand up for the people of Glasgow.