5 March 2020

Scottish Labour has voted against the proposed SNP-Green budget that will inflict further and deeper cuts on Scotland’s councils.

The budget fails to provide a fair deal for further and higher education, fails to match Scottish Labour’s call for free bus travel for under 25s and fails to take decisive action in respect to the climate crisis.

Speaking for Scottish Labour in the chamber, Scottish Labour Finance Spokesperson Rhoda Grant said:

“ Scottish Labour entered discussions with the Scottish Government this year in the hope, if not in expectation, that we could push the Government to invest in Scotland. Instead the SNP squander the public purse and refuse to invest.

“While the SNP boast of not increasing income tax, they heap inflation-busting rises on the regressive council tax, a tax that they promised to abolish over a decade ago.

“We ask that young people 25 and under travel free on buses. This policy would have helped young people become more independent while also making family travel more affordable.

“Instead the Greens settled for talks about introducing free bus travel for young people eighteen and under. This short-changes young people because on past performance it is unlikely to happen.

“We wanted fair funding for Local Government, but they are now facing a £205m real terms cut.

“This budget is damaging.

"It does not invest in the future of Scotland or its people. It does not deal with mismanagement. That is why Scottish Labour cannot support it.”
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