THE issue of cuts to public services and local councils affects everyone from children to pensioners. It is crucial that we understand that the blame for these savage cuts lies squarely with the SNP Scottish Government. It can’t point the finger of blame at Westminster as the real-terms cuts to councils are three times the reduction in the Scottish block grant. Analysis by the politically neutral Institute for Fiscal Studies shows that in real terms, the planned increase in council budgets was only 1.6% which is massively eroded by unavoidable increased costs and wage rises. This lack of funding from the SNP Government is what is causing council spending cuts. SNP minister Mairi McAllan has naively blamed previous Labour governments for using PFI schemes to build schools and hospitals for the pressure on council budgets but fails to acknowledge that the SNP Government still finances many projects using PFI under the sneakily-changed names of Scottish Futures Trust and HubCo. When the library, community hall, playgroup and golf course are closed, remember that the SNP Government is to blame. James Quinn, Lanark.