THE cost of Unionist councils giving workers the day off for the coronation has been revealed amid calls for employees to be given pay rises rather than a holiday.

The Alba Party asked Scottish councils under the control of Conservative or Labour the cost of giving workers a day off for the ceremony, through Freedom of Information (FOI) requests.

The figures, shared with The National, showed the total cost being at least £6.5 million.

East Renfrewshire, Inverclyde, South Ayrshire, South Lanarkshire, Dumfries and Galloway and West Lothian all failed to respond to the request.

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The local authorities who did respond gave figures between £40,000 and £2.4m – which Alba said was because some had provided the cost of staffing for that day based on the wages of those not on hourly rates and for the overtime costs of filling roles and others had only responded with the additional overtime cost.

The costs of staffing:

  • Aberdeenshire - £163,000
  • Argyll and Bute - £464,852.63
  • East Lothian - £504,832.73
  • Edinburgh - £250,000
  • Fife - £2.4m
  • Moray - £40,000
  • Scottish Borders - £709,456
  • Stirling - £1.9m
  • West Dunbartonshire - £120,000

Alba’s general secretary Chris McEleny called for workers to get a pay rise instead of an extra day off.

He told The National: “Council workers are on the front line of many services we take for granted but quite simply couldn’t live without. From the many people I have spoken to it’s a decent pay rise they want - not a day off to celebrate the coronation of King Charles.

“Across Scotland, people are struggling to pay their household bills despite the fact we live in an energy-rich land. Unionist councils may think that hanging up the bunting and yelling 'Rule Britannia' is what people want but the reality is they just want them to get on with their day job.

“It’s no wonder that as we approach the coronation we will see report for an elected head of state in an independent Scotland go up."