The Shetland branch of the Labour Party is accusing the council of pursuing deep spending cuts too quickly.
In a statement today members said this was being done with no clear understanding of what the SIC’s priorities were and without any assessment of the likely economic and social impact on the islands.
The party said: “The Shetland Labour Party recognises the difficulties facing the public sector finances now and into the future. These problems are not helped by the unwavering determination of the Con/Dem coalition in Westminster to inflict the most savage cuts to public spending since Thatcher. Equally, the policies adopted by the Nationalists in Holyrood do little to mitigate this ideological onslaught from the Tories and their Lib Dem friends.”
It added: “The Shetland Labour Party would urge Shetland Islands Council to pause and think before rushing through potentially harmful cuts of up to £26 million per annum. The council should commission proper research to help understand the effects of any proposed cuts on the communities across Shetland. While that is being done, the Shetland Islands Council should properly debate the purpose and appropriate levels for council and other community reserves, with due reference to the likelihood of any potential income from other sources such as renewables and community enterprises.
“After all, no sensible person would cut their household budget without regard to future income prospects, and without prioritising and understanding the effects of cutting expenditure.”