Angus MacDonald slams UK Government for putting Scottish recovery at risk

Following the UK spending review statement by the Chancellor George Osborne, SNP Candidate for Falkirk East, Councillor Angus MacDonald has reacted to the UK announcements.

Angus MacDonald said:

“We suffered Labour’s recession and mismanagement and now ConDem cuts are on their way.

“This UK Chancellor’s budget represents a real terms cut to Scotland, where local government will be hit also. Spending cuts are worse than expected with £1.3bn from Scotland's revenue budget and £800m from the capital budget for this year alone, which threaten some 12,000 jobs in Scotland.

“These cuts are too quick, too deep and too fast and will severely hinder any prospect of recovery in Scotland, which we were already seeing signs of. This high risk strategy by the ConDem government will without doubt come back to haunt them.

“The Scottish Government’s Economic Recovery Plan, which stimulated investment by bringing forward capital projects and delivering an infrastructure programme worth £3.3 billion this year and brought much needed support for construction and employment is now at risk.

“Sadly, we have the same old Tories, now helped by the Liberal Democrats, cutting too far and too fast and leaving the poorest households to bear the brunt of tax rises, benefit cuts and the loss of public services and jobs.

“This programme of cuts, in the same week as Norway announced its Oil Fund stands at £326 billion, highlight the need for Scotland to secure economic and financial powers to grow the economy and boost revenues. Only the SNP has an alternative to the dire and depressing agenda of Labour cuts or Tory/LibDem cuts. Instead of accelerating cuts for Scotland we need our own powers – and the sooner, the better!

“At the Scottish election we need a first rate team fighting for Scotland who can build economic recovery and deliver a better and fairer Scotland – a first rate team for a second term, not a second rate opposition set for first time failure.”

Polls show SNP setting election pace

Voters accepting invitation to be part of better

The SNP has significantly closed the gap on Labour following the launch of the party's 2011 election campaign at its annual conference last weekend.

In a Yougov poll published in the Scotsman of 1,405 people across Scotland  taken  between the 18th and 20th October, just after SNP conference the party saw its share of the Holyrood vote increase by 5 points across both constituency and regional vote.

Labour’s vote has flat lined and the Lib Dems vote crumbled to its lowest level in over 9 years as people across Scotland chose to work together with the SNP to make Scotland better.

The SNP is polling at a higher level than at the same time prior to the 2007 election.  Since September the SNP vote has increased to 34% of the constituency vote and 31% of the regional vote – a 5% increase in both cases.

The poll puts the SNP on 34% in the constituency vote, against 40% for Labour, 14% for the Conservatives and 8% for the Lib Dems.  On the regional vote the SNP has increased to 31% against 36% for Labour, 15 for the conservatives and 8 for the Lib Dems.

Commenting on the poll SNP Campaign Co-ordinator and Moray MP Angus Robertson said:

"The SNP has fired the starting gun on the election campaign and these results show voters across Scotland are choosing to be part of better as we close the gap on Labour.

“Voters will not allow Labour to escape from their responsibility for the economic mess and the cuts coming Scotland’s way and it is clear the Lib Dems are paying a heavy price for backing the Tories.

“The SNP is the only party offering an alternative with the financial powers to manage Scotland’s economy and a fair deal for Scotland’s households by balancing government efficiencies, pay restraint and management cuts with a focus on frontline services , freezing council tax and abolishing prescription charges.

“And as we work towards the election next year we will continue to hear the priorities of the people of Scotland, their concerns, and ideas for the future as we work together people and politicians to make Scotland better.

“With Scotland’s only credible candidate for First Minister people are putting their trust in Alex Salmond and the SNP team to protect the things Scotland holds dear in the face of Labour, Conservative and Lib Dem cuts.”

SNP set the pace for Holyrood election

The SNP has set the agenda for the holyrood election, setting out clear policies for the 2011 election and firing the starting gun on the campaign.

Over the course of the SNP’s conference a clear dividing line between an SNP working together with people across Scotland to deliver fairness and protect Scotland from the London Government’s cuts and a Labour party pushing up taxes and lacking in policies has emerged.

In a series of announcements over the four day conference the SNP set out the key issues that will dominate the campaign:

  • A council tax freeze to reduce the burdens on households facing increased UK Government taxes and pay restraint
  • The abolition of prescription charges
  • Protection for frontline NHS and police – over management and bureaucracy
  • Passing on any increases in health funding from England to Scotland’s NHS
  • No privatisation of Scottish Water
  • Extending the living wage from low paid Government staff to the NHS and other government agencies.
  • The importance of more powers and independence to allow the Parliament and Government to deliver the jobs, fairness and compassion that are at the heart of Scottish society.  

Conference also saw the campaign come to life across the country as:

  • Thousands of people responded to newspaper adverts and our revolutionary new party political broadcast inviting them to  to share ideas for a better Scotland
  • The SNP confirmed the full list of candidates that will represent the party at the 2011 election
  • Launched app – giving the SNP the practical and technological campaigning edge, ahead of any other UK party.
  • Distributed 500,000 consultation leaflets taking the SNP’s policy ideas and invitation to work together right into people’s households.

Commenting at the end of conference in Perth  Angus Robertson MP, SNP Campaign co-ordinator, said:

“The SNP went into conference saying we would fire the starting gun in the Holyrood campaign and we have set a strong pace toward the 2011 election.

“Alex Salmond, Nicola Sturgeon and our strong team of Government ministers, MSPs, candidates and ordinary members have set out the values and principles that will drive the SNP’s campaign for a fairer and stronger Scotland.

“The SNP will help households in Scotland through the worst of the cuts and protect the services and values that Scotland prizes.  The SNP will freeze the council tax, continue to abolish prescription charges and ensure that when it comes to the NHS or Scotland’s police we will focus on the frontline not the backroom bureaucracy.

“The contrast with Labour, whose instinct is to put up taxes and make pensioners, the poorer in our society and the sick pay for the economic mess they made is clear.

“And with Alex Salmond making  clear the difference more powers and the powers of independence would make to a Scottish Parliament and government focussed on jobs, compassion and fairness our message is resonating with people across Scotland."

Copyright © Angus MacDonald MSP 2017

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