MacDonald Slams Opponent's 'Irresponsible Hypocrisy' over Scottish Government Budget

Councillor Angus MacDonald, SNP Candidate for Falkirk East has slammed his opponent Cathy Peattie for voting against the SNP's budget last week, which gave Labour even more than they had asked for during budget negotiations, and branded her a 'hypocrite' for voting against the Rail Freight Facilities Grant, which just a few weeks ago she was calling on the Scottish Government to retain.

In the Scottish Parliament last week Cathy Peattie and her Labour colleagues also voted against the introduction of a record 25,000 apprenticeships for Scotland's young people, £10 million for young people to work with the voluntary sector and a further £10 million to help small business create jobs despite arguing for more support for jobs.  On top of that Labour voted against £15 million to help the poorest students through additional college bursaries.

Angus MacDonald said:

"Cathy Peattie's actions are extremely hypocritical - she can't on one hand call on the Scottish Government to retain the Rail Freight Faclities Grant, and then in a matter of a couple of weeks vote against an enhanced Rail Freight Facilities Grant in the SNP Budget. Such actions give her stance no credibility whatsoever.

"Labour also put themselves on the wrong side of the people of Falkirk East with a hypocritical vote against apprenticeships and support for jobs. On the same day (last Wednesday) Labour-led Falkirk Council also rejected a fully costed £500,000 jobs and training programme put forward by the Falkirk Council SNP Group, which would have seen over 300 unemployed youths between the ages of 16 and 24 trained up through a future jobs fund. Sadly the Labour/Tory/Independent group voted against the proposal by 18 votes to 14.
Angus MacDonald accused Labour of failing to put the people of Falkrik East and Scotland before petty politics and accused them of "irresponsible hypocrisy" saying:

“Cathy Peattie has voted against a record 25,000 apprenticeships for Scotland’s young people and against £20million of investment in jobs. In Falkirk Labour Councillors even voted against their own policy of a future jobs fund which is nothing short of irresponsible political hypocrisy. Labour will rightly be held to account by the electorate of Falkirk East for their irresponsible behaviour.

“Over four years the SNP has shown we can work with all parties to deliver a council tax freeze for Scottish families, 1000 additional police on our streets and the small business bonus for Scotland’s businesses.

"The SNP in Government has backed Scotland's apprentices with 25,000 places and our students with college bursaries.

“And while the SNP campaign is up and running on a record of achievement for Scotland Labour are in complete disarray. Following her vote against the budget last week Cathy Peattie can't claim to support jobs, young people, businesses or families when she has a record of voting against these key decisions.

“Labour have even voted against extending the Living Wage, as they did in Falkirk last week, when the SNP Group at Falkirk Council identified funds which would allow the introduction of the Living Wage for Falkirk Council workers. The Labour-led administration in Falkirk again voted down the SNP amendment by 18 votes to 14.

“Scotland’s electorate now know that it is only the SNP that will help Scotland's young people get the jobs and training they deserve, help businesses out of the recession, protect the NHS budget and abolish prescription charges.

“In May voters will have a choice between a responsible experienced government that has produced a budget that works for Scotland to protect jobs, public services and family budgets with the SNP or a hypocritical
Labour party putting political opposition before the people of Scotland."

Labour have voted against:

· Invest a further £11.5 million to create 25,000 modern apprenticeship places - a record high for Scotland
· Abolition of prescription charges and the Council tax freeze;
· Continuing Small Business Bonus Scheme;
· Invest an additional £15 million across 2010-11 and 2011-12 in funding for college bursaries;
· 1,000 additional police officers;
· £10 million support for SME employment creation – focused on new starts, sole traders and small firms to take on new employees by assisting with employment and recruitment costs and assist with exports
· Provide 7,000 flexible training opportunities for SMEs - 2,000 more than originally planned in the draft Budget
· Invest £8 million to provide enough funding for an extra 1,200 college places
· Maintain educational grants (EMAs) for pupils and college students most in need which were cut south of the border
· Extending the Living Wage of £7.15 to all agencies the Government is responsible for and Scotland's NHS.
· Guarantee a probation place for every newly-qualified teacher and provide enough teaching jobs for every post-probationer in 2011-12;
· New Early Years and Early Intervention Fund, with start-up funding of £5 million;
· £2m Freight Facilities Grant;
· £1m Post office Diversification Scheme;
· £12.5 million for Urban Regeneration Companies – increase of £6 million on the Draft budget;
· £16 million further investment in Housing;
· Protect Health Spending and continue provisions for free personal care;
· £2.5 billion infrastructure investment programme;
· Infrastructure Commitments such as the new Forth crossing, New South Glasgow Hospitals project and school building programme
· £70 million Renewables Infrastructure Fund – over four years;
· £48 million support for energy assistance package and HomeInsulation Scheme.

All this done in spite of £1.3 billion in cuts started under Labour.

Copyright © Angus MacDonald MSP 2017

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