BUDGET day blues is a real thing and as the council sits down today to propose a new Budget, you could be forgiven for thinking “what is the point?”.

With that SNP conference-defining announcement from First Minister Humza Yousaf that council tax rates were going to be frozen, he effectively tied one hand behind the back of local government, giving him the chance to punch us square on the face as him and his cronies handed down yet more cuts to councils this year.

And so, here we are on the dawn of Budget day, faced with finding another £107.7 million over three years for our city that has already been stripped bare of any decent funding and resources for more than a decade. 

Last year, the Labour Group just couldn’t back a budget that allowed the cuts that were going to happen. We walked out. We made our point. We raised the distress signal that Glasgow cannot continue to make cuts.

We stood up for our city and said to the SNP and Greens – both in Glasgow City Chambers and in Holyrood – that enough was enough.

People were fed up listening to tawdry excuses and delusional pitter patter from these groups obsessed with division. 

This year, however, we are going to set a Budget. 

We are going to set a balanced Budget that will show the people of Glasgow that even as the SNP and Greens attempt to diminish our city we will not stand for it. 

If Glasgow Labour were in charge, we would deliver for our city.

In a Budget set over three years, the Glasgow Labour Group will propose ideas that will see us working with businesses in Glasgow city centre to reinvigorate it back to its former glory, see us set up our own energy company that will allow us to invest in our renewable future and reinvest the money raised from the Glasgow Loves card back into our people by reinstating the Winter Fuel Allowance of £100 for our pensioners.

We will also protect our swimming pools. 

We are mitigating, reinvesting and reversing some of the awful decisions the SNP have made over the past few years. 

We also plan on using the powers that we can employ to raise revenue on vacant properties by introducing council tax on them. This Budget move can’t lose.

If people have properties and they want to keep them vacant, they will have to pay for the council tax on them, bringing more money (estimated at roughly £15m) into our city and if they don’t and sell them on, then they can be bought by people who are either able to make homes or workspaces for themselves there, or regenerate them and do just that for others.

This will relieve our homeless crisis and help to reinvigorate our properties across the city. 

The full extent of our plans will be laid bare today in the City Chambers and while managing decline is never something that anyone wants to do, I feel the ingenuity and creativeness that the Labour Budget has today shows a different path for Glasgow. 

I can only hope the SNP and Green administration see beyond the politics and support it – it really is in the best interest of our city.