The Scottish Government works in partnership with local government on a wide range of issues to ensure that we are delivering quality services for the most vulnerable people in society. We are committed to continuing those efforts. That commitment is shown in the draft Scottish budget that we published on 12 December, which increased the total funding that local authorities can use to provide front-line services to the most vulnerable in our society by £485 million in 2019-20.
Given that the draft budget contains cuts to the local government budget—South Lanarkshire Council is facing cuts of £16 million—can the cabinet secretary and her colleagues on the ministerial team who represent South Lanarkshire take a stand on behalf of communities in the South Lanarkshire Council area and oppose a budget that contains cuts to local services and jobs?
Again, I point out that local authorities have been treated fairly against the backdrop of fiscal constraints that have been imposed on us by the United Kingdom Government. I am looking at figures for South Lanarkshire Council that suggest that there is a 2.83 per cent increase in its budget.
We will continue to work with members who wish to amend the budget. If James Kelly wishes to make a change and comes to us with a worked-up proposition and an idea of where he will take the money from, of course we will listen to him. However, I think that we will wait a long time to see the Labour Party coming up with any plan, any coherence or anything constructive to add to the budget process.