Kezia Dugdale blasts SNP ‘austerity budgets’, pledging a 50p tax to stop Tory cuts

Scottish Labour leader takes on Nicola Sturgeon's left credentials at Labour conference


Kezia Dugdale has attacked the Scottish National Party’s ‘austerity budgets’ and called for raising taxes to stop Tory cuts.

The Scottish Labour leader, speaking to the national party conference yesterday, said she would propose an amendment to Scotland’s next that would see a 50p top rate of tax for those earning £150,000.

Dugdale said this extra revenue could be used to offset cuts imposed by the Tory government in Westminster, and that Labour in Scotland would vote against any budget that lacks this provision. She said:

‘If the SNP minority government does not accept these proposals, and forces another austerity budget on Holyrood, we will vote against it.

If they want support, they’ll need to look to the Tories for that. Labour will not help the SNP pass an austerity budget on our watch.’

She attacked Nicola Sturgeon for doing too little curb austerity, accusing the Scottish First Minister of placing nationalism and independence above all other concerns.

She said:

‘It frustrates and angers me that the SNP Government clothes itself in progressive language, but doesn’t match that with action. […]

Conference, don’t be fooled. Do not allow the wool to be pulled over your eyes.

A party of the left doesn’t choose to do nothing in the face of rising inequality. […]

It doesn’t say it will protect services before the election and then stand back when they are threatened with closure soon after.

Conference, here’s what a progressive government does: it asks the richest to pay their fair share, so we can protect public services and invest in our children’s future’

Dugdale added that the country was already divided enough and so Scottish Labour would vote against another referendum on independence in this parliament.

See: Kezia Dugdale and Carwyn Jones clash with Jeremy Corbyn over NEC

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