The cost of austerity and cuts to councils’ funding has resulted in hundreds of thousands of council jobs lost across Scotland in the last decade.

These are choices forced upon town halls by the SNP government. The Tories have wrongly cut the Scottish Government budget, however the SNP has quadrupled that cut and passed it on to councils – leaving councillors of all parties facing serious consequences.

Last week the Accounts Commission reported that funding for councils was cut, in real terms, by £220 million in the last year.

With the budget for the coming financial year due to be announced by administrator of austerity Derek Mackay, local authorities should be given assurances that they will be properly funded in real terms.

CHANGING PLACES: After Celtic Football Club confirmed they would become the first top division team in Scotland to have facilities that meet Changing Places requirements for disabled supporters, I have recently written to the remaining 11 Scottish Premiership clubs to ask them to install a Changing Places toilet.

In addition to standard disabled toilet facilities, Changing Places facilities provide an adult-sized adjustable changing bench, a centrally placed toilet, a ceiling tracking hoist and adequate space for a disabled person, their wheelchair and at least one carer.

RAPE CLAUSE: Scottish Labour, along with the SNP and Greens, have consistently opposed the two-child cap for tax credits and the ‘rape clause’ which demands a women prove her third child is the product of a rape in order to claim tax credits.

This cruel and barbaric Tory policy affected nearly 4,000 families in Scotland and estimates show that families with three children will lose more than £2,500 per year. That figure will increase for each child after the second.

Scottish Labour MPs took part in a Westminster Hall debate calling for the Tory government to scrap the cap across the UK, and in the Scottish Parliament, we are calling on the Scottish Government to use the new welfare powers to end the cap in Scotland.

Despite their protests, the SNP seem rather happy to let families suffer in order for their grievance politics to play out. I would rather we work as a Parliament and act against this policy, regardless of the constitutional situation.