It was never going to be good news.
The city council budget in recent years has been a case of damage limitation when it comes to services and hiking the costs we all have to pay to live in the nation’s Capital.
And so it has proved today, with the predictable revelation that the hard-pressed motorist is being raided again . . . 20p extra to park and a ten per cent increase in residents’ permits are some of the first proposals to emerge from the number-crunching.
No-one wants to pay more and increasing any charge is always going to cause upset, but is this the least worst option?
We will have to wait and see the full details of the budget proposals as the impact becomes clear over the coming days. But if it is the case the frontline services are protected from the estimated £35 million of cutbacks then a few pence more at the parking meter may be the price we will have to pay.
We recognise that this money has to be found and that the financial situation is not all of the council’s making.
At the end of the day, if this £2m does not come from the motorist then it will have to be taken from another budget and perhaps put a vital service under threat.
That does not mean that it is the right thing to do, however, and it does not mean this should be accepted without question.
The debate over how to balance Edinburgh’s books is only just beginning, with opposition parties at the City Chambers sure to soon have their say.
Everyone with an interest should get involved in the consultation and make their voices heard ahead of budget day. This council does have a record of listening to the public and responding after all.
It is never going to be good news when cuts of £35m are being talked about, but we can at least help to make sure it is the best result possible for the taxpayer and the city as a whole.