Campaigners and unions to protest over Council cuts

Trade unions and campaign groups will stage a protest outside Fife Council’s headquarters prior to the budget meeting.

They fear the latest round of proposed cuts will damage vital services, further erode staff’s pay and conditions and lead to hundreds of job losses.

Fife Council will meet tomorrow (Thursday) to set its budget – and is looking to find ways to close an estimated £77m funding gap.

But Fife Trades Union Council (TUC) says enough is enough, and people need to voice their opposition to the cuts.

Ian Waddell, chairman of Fife TUC, said: “We will be demonstrating outside Fife House from 9.00 a.m. to protest against the Council’s proposals to reduce services and staff conditions.

“Fife TUC, which represents trades union members across Fife, has long been concerned about the continuing cuts to the Fife Council budget.

“These have year on year worsened the employment conditions of Council workers and the services provided to the people and communities of Fife. The current budget proposals will only bring a deeper reduction in services across all areas. Staff will face the prospect of job losses.”

Members of The People’s Assembly Fife – which campaigns against austerity – will also be joining the protest.

It claims that if the UK and Scottish governments can step in to support the North Sea oil industry in an attempt to save jobs, they can do the same for Scotland’s local authorities.

Spokesman Tam Kirkby said: “The North Sea oil giants have been reaping billions in profits over the decades. Now, because of low oil prices and reduced profits, they are cutting jobs. What is the response from our politicians? Offer them tax cuts and subsidies.

“The union UNISON has calculated that cuts to council budgets over the next three years will result in 35,000 jobs being lost. Where are the tax breaks and the subsidies to protect these jobs?”