‘Budget cuts will be Valentine’s massacre’

The Depute Leader of the Opposition at Argyll and Bute Council has hit out at the SNP administration, claiming that the elderly and vulnerable have been ‘targeted’ by proposed budget cuts.

Councillor Ellen Morton has said, ahead of the budget meeting on February 14: “The SNP proposals will cut 670 jobs as well as slash the budgets for road repairs, care of the elderly, maintaining public toilets and cutting the grass in our towns and villages.

“The elderly and the vulnerable are particularly targeted by the SNP cuts. Even more foolishly, not only do some cuts put older people at increased risk, they may actually cost money rather than save it. For example, it is national and local policy to support older people in their own homes for as long as possible. Yet the SNP plans to cut the Council’s Homecare Budget by over a quarter of a million pounds every year.

“Even the SNP’s own papers describe this cut as ‘contrary to national policy and a false economy’. How can any councillor support such a cut? If our Homecare budgets are reduced, there will be increased delay in getting the correct package in place, increasing the risk of harm to an individual at home or of bed blocking by delaying the discharge of an elderly person from hospital. The risk of bed blocking, leaving old people stranded in hospital, is made worse by an additional cut of £600,000 a year from the budget for care home places.”

* Read more in this week’s Buteman, on sale on Thursday.