I agree with Mike Rumbles NE Lib Dem MSP about his comments on the SNP budget being passed with the support from the greens, as this will lead to our council having to make more huge cuts on our services through the budget. As a councillor I am aware that the potential implications of this are cuts on Education services and also on the support we give through the IJB to our elderly in areas such as social care. Although the details of this are not yet out, I am really concerned as over the past few years we have seen cuts on school staff and books for pupils, as well as on our valued day care centre places and shelter housing complexes we are now facing having to make more cuts in the services our councils offer.
Mike Rumbles commented “The SNP’s shambolic and regressive budget plans have been widely criticised by organisations across Scotland, in the media and by the other political parties. Nonetheless, the Budget has passed the first round of debate, thanks to the Green Party’s shameless U-turn in the vote. This means that the SNP’s cuts to local services, underfunding of education and mental health and punitive business rates hike will go through to the next round of debate, bruised but intact.
As Liberal Democrats, we took a constructive approach and listened to all the Finance Minister had to say, but the government offered no meaningful alternatives on issues that we thought were important, such as the lack of funding for education. We had no option but to vote against this harmful budget and we were right to do so.
The North East will be damaged more than most by the SNP’s plans. Our council services are to be cut and many of our local industries and businesses will have to pay thousands more in rates. At a time when we need to see more jobs created, and more support for our local services, the message from Edinburgh is loud and clear – that the central-belt comes first.
We will see if the Minister is willing to offer any concessions over the coming days, and in the meantime we will continue to call for fewer cuts and a reversal of the SNP’s centralisation agenda.”
From:: David May