4 February 2019

SNP Finance Secretary Derek Mackay has secretly squirrelled away millions of pounds in reserves whilst imposing real terms cuts on councils in his budget last week.

A total of £54million of additional Barnett consequentials have been transferred to the Scotland Reserve.

Whilst Mackay pockets the cash, his budget will impose £230million of painful real terms cuts to councils which will put lifeline services and jobs at risk across the country.

Despite the significant transfer of funds to the Scotland Reserve, not a single mention of it was made by Mr Mackay in his lengthy statement to Parliament on Thursday.

Scottish Labour’s finance spokesperson, James Kelly MSP, said:

"While council workers across the country will be fearing for their jobs, Derek Mackay has secretly stashed £54million in reserves.

“This is money which could be used to end the suffering that thousands of people are enduring in communities across Scotland.

“No wonder Mackay did not utter a single word about his secret multi-million pound fund in his statement to Parliament on Thursday.

“Labour is Scotland’s anti-austerity party. In government we will make the wealthiest pay their fair share, and invest in our public services and our communities to tackle the shameful levels of poverty and inequality in our society.”

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