In a taste of what might be to come across the UK, Scotland’s SNP Finance Secretary, John Swinney has delivered the Scottish government’s draft budget for 2010/11. The budget included a list of sizeable cuts. Labour’s Finance Spokesman, Andy Kerr attacked the Alex Salmond-led government.
In a taste of what might be to come across the UK, Scotland’s SNP Finance Secretary, John Swinney has delivered the Scottish government’s draft budget for 2010/11. Presenting his proposals for consultation, Swinney opened the debate by declaring:
“At a time when many businesses and families are facing the challenges brought by the recession, it is imperative for government to respond effectively and decisively to support them.”
- Scrapping the £120 million Glasgow rail link to deal with what the SNP claimed were UK government imposed reductions in health spending. This project had been at the centre of Glasgow’s bid for the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
- A cut in the £235 million budget for housing and regeneration.
- A halving of Government spending on advertising and communications.
Responding to the budget, Labour’s Finance Spokesman, Andy Kerr attacked the Alex Salmond-led government by declaring:
“I called on ministers to respond to the recession by bringing forward a budget to get Scotland working. Instead, they have cancelled the Glasgow Airport Rail Link, which will result in the loss of 1,350 jobs.”
Two things become apparent when looking at the budget brought forward yesterday. First, while the SNP continue to press their case for independence, they appear to blame Westminster when thing’s get tough rather than using the tax varying powers open to them. The Scottish Government have the option, as yet unused, to vary the basic rate of income tax by up to 3 pence.
Second, since it came to power, the SNP government have spent in the region of £700,000 on its national conversation on independence. With workers losing jobs due to the cancellation of the Glasgow rail line and houses not being built due to cuts in the housing budget, Alex Salmond is under pressure to explain why these sums are being spent when polls show that independence has the support of fewer than a third of the Scottish people.
Reacting to the budget, Steven Purcell, leader of Glasgow City Council said that Scottish Ministers have a “clear anti-Glasgow agenda”. Glasgow has spoken; we await the response of the rest of Scotland.Like this article? Sign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by making a donation today.