Labour in the Western Isles has slammed the SNP government for again cutting the cash available to Comhairle nan Eilean Siar to provide vital services.

Alison MacCorquodale, the Labour Party’s Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for the Western Isles, said:  "On a direct comparison, the Comhairle will be £400,000 worse off next year than at present.

"However, the situation is worse than that since there is a further £2m of the Comhairle's allocation which is ring-fenced for SNP priorities which do not accord with the most urgent needs facing the Western Isles".

She pointed out that Comhairle nan Eilean is already the most harshly-treated local authority in Scotland with a 17.1 per cent cut in its revenue budget since 2014.

"We have repeatedly asked the local MSP to justify or even explain that treatment but he relies on saying nothing and hoping nobody notices. 

"The Western Isles CLP are appalled that the Comhairle has again been given absolutely no relief in its constant battle against cuts imposed from Edinburgh. 

"This Budget was an opportunity to recognise that the funding formula applied by the Scottish Government takes absolutely no account of the special problems that an islands authority faces. 

"The ‘Islands Act’ is meant to protect us from the consequences of legislation.  How has this been applied to the proposed Budget and its effect on our struggling services?"

Following last week's Scottish budget, the Scottish Parliament Information Centre confirmed that core funding for council services throughout Scotland had been cut by a further £319 million