A classic Tory budget was how Brian Wilson described it in the Scotsman:
"The really offensive part of Swinney’s budget is how he passed the burden of pain to local authorities, the traditional Tory whipping-boys. It takes a second to talk about a £500 million or 3.5 per cent cut. But this is brutal stuff which the weakest will live with daily. These numbers translate into home helps, day centres, special needs schools, classroom assistants, public libraries, sports centres… all the services which councils provide for those who need them to achieve a reasonable standard of life."
and on the Council tax freeze:
"Every difficult issue has been ducked with the council-tax freeze a prime example. It hurts the poor, because of service cuts, while those who save most – and depend least on public services – love it. So whose interests take priority? Osborne allowed councils to raise extra cash predicated for social care. Would even that have been too radical for Swinney?"
Council leaders warned that 15,000 local authority jobs will be lost as a result of cuts imposed by the Scottish budget for 2016-17.
CoSLA President David O'Neil said:
"A cut of 3.5% is catastrophic for jobs and services within Scottish local government - because the harsh reality is that it actually translates to real job cuts that hit real families, in real communities throughout Scotland. Everyone will be hurt by this."
STULP Secretary Dave Watson analyses the budget in his blog and said:
"If yesterday’s budget is “a Scottish response to austerity” then we are in very deep trouble. A response to austerity has to be more than simply administering George Osborne’s efforts to wreck our public services."