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Greater population requires investment, not cuts – GMB Scotland

Spending cuts across the public sector must be reconsidered in light of the increased population and demand for goods and services, GMB Scotland has urged.

Considering population statistics, which show a 233,400 increase between 2001 and 2011 in Scotland, GMB Scotland calls for this to be used as a basis for forward planning and reconfiguring education, housing, transport links, health facilities, and infrastructure and recreation facilities.

Greater investment will also be needed to deliver a “step change” in care for the elderly in Scotland.

The recently published 2011 Census of Population for Scotland shows that the population grew in 28 out of the 32 council areas in Scotland over the last ten years.

Harry Donaldson, secretary of GMB Scotland, said: “Local and national government in Scotland and the UK government should base forward planning on these changes in population which clearly impacts on the demand for goods and services provided by the private sector and by local authorities, social services and the NHS.

“Scotland is moving in the opposite direction as local authorities and other agencies are making cuts. This is leading to job losses and a reduction in the level and quality of services across a broad range of provisions. 25,600 jobs have already gone from Scotland local councils since the last general election on 2010.

“In the context of these changes in population the continuing freeze on council tax in Scotland is one of the key policy areas affecting services that need to be reconsidered.”

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