BUDGET - UNISON responds to Comhairle budget

UNISON have expressed their concern at the job losses which are likely to come from the Comhairle’s budget.

The local authority has always given a commitment to a policy of no compulsory redundancies but there are still likely to be 70 fewer jobs within the council over the next two years.

A statement from UNISON said: “Whilst the Comhairle consulted widely with the community and there appears to be fewer jobs at risk than originally suggested, UNISON are extremely concerned that a further 70 jobs will be lost as a result of the 2013 - 2015 budget. UNISON research shows that for every £1 a public sector worker takes home, 70p of that is spent in the local economy. Furthermore, for each job lost in the public sector, another is lost in the private sector. With the Comhairle having already cut around 200 jobs over the past two years and such a high reliance locally on public sector employment, each job lost has a significant and detrimental impact on the local economy and our communities.

The impact of many of the UK Government’s economic policies – including the Welfare Reform agenda - will become more apparent over the coming months. The UNISON Western Isles Local Government Branch believes that there will be a huge rise in demand for services which support the most vulnerable in our community. With an ageing population and no hope for additional funding, UNISON believes it will be a huge challenge to continue to provide the vital services on which our communities - and indeed our members and their families – depend.”