Budget fails to deliver what is needed says Fire Brigades union

The Scottish Government’s budget falls short of what is needed to end a decade of cuts to the Fire and Rescue Service in Scotland, a union leader has said.

The Fire Brigades Union had called for urgent action to reverse a decade of cuts that have resulted in the loss of over 1200 firefighter jobs, the withdrawal of frontline fire appliances, a crisis in the retained service and a huge backlog of repairs and maintenance to fire stations but today’s budget announcement by the Shona Robison, the Cabinet Secretary for Finance falls short of what the union believes is needed.

John McKenzie, Scottish Secretary of the Fire Brigades Union said,

“We warned the Finance Secretary and the Justice Secretary that if they failed to provide significantly increased funding for the Fire and Rescue Service then the services our members provide to  Scotland’s local communities would deteriorate yet further.

Whilst today’s budget sees a small increase in funding it is nowhere near what is required to reverse a decade of cuts. The FBU already requested a  meeting with Angela Constance over a month ago to hear directly from her what the budget allocation means for the jobs of our members and the services they provide to the public. To the frustration of our members, we have received no reply in that time.  It is now essential that this meeting is convened urgently in order for the Scottish Government to outline their vision for a progressive and properly resourced Fire and Rescue Service to the people of Scotland  ‘