Debt write-off to fund services

Labour candidate Carol Mochan.
Labour candidate Carol Mochan.

Labour Candidate Carol Mochan has weighed into the debate on how to fund much needed Council Services.

The South Ayrshire Westminster candidate is calling on the UK Treasury to declare an amnesty on interest due on council debt taken out with the Public Works Loans Board (PWLB) prior to devolution in 1999. She reckons this would save South Ayrshire Council £3.08 million a year.

Carol said: “I am calling for an amnesty on loan interest on debts South Ayrshire Council took out with the Public Works Loans Board (PWLB) before devolution in 1999. Free from these high interest loan repayments South Ayrshire could provide the services people need. It would have the financial confidence to go ahead with economic and social regeneration of the whole area including rural Carrick and Girvan as a first class seaside town.

“Research carried out by the union UNITE shows that the equivalent of 32p of every pound in council tax paid in South Ayrshire is spent on paying interest on historic debt. The interest rate on loans taken out before devolution runs at around 8%, almost double that of loans taken out since under the Scottish Parliament.

“Public services are facing cuts because of the austerity budgets of both the Tories at Westminster and the SNP passing on the cuts at Holyrood. I believe a debt amnesty will help.

“There is already a precedent for it – the last Labour UK Government wrote off Glasgow City Council’s historic housing debt when its homes were transferred to a new housing association.”