Scots councils’ £700m interest charge costs

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LOCAL authorities across Scotland spent more than £700 million in interest payments on debt last year, figures obtained by the Scottish Conservatives have shown.

The statistics also reveal the total debt of the 32 councils to stand at £14 billion, a huge increase from 2007 when the SNP came to power at Holyrood.

At that point the overall debt was £9 billion, meaning the cost of servicing it was significantly lower.

In 2011, Glasgow was the local authority with the greatest debt, at around £1.7 billion, closely followed by Edinburgh with £1.4 billion worth of debt.

Scottish Conservative MSP Mary Scanlon said: “The level of council debt, since the SNP were elected in 2007, has spiralled out of control.

“The total of £9 billion has now become £14 billion and the interest paid on this is simply incredible.

“That is money that could be spent on services for people across Scotland, but in-fact is being paid just to maintain the borrowing for those services.

“It illustrates that the efficiency savings sought by the SNP are in fact resulting in higher levels of debt, not more effective services.”

 

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