Dugdale writes to Harvie seeking agreement on an anti-austerity alternative

Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale has written to the Scottish Greens seeking to build an anti-austerity alternative to the Scottish budget.

In her letter, Kezia Dugdale outlines that local government suffered £1.4 billion of cuts under the SNP majority government of 2011 to 2016, and the Nationalists are threatening a further £327 million this year.

Ms Dugdale states that Labour is looking to work constructively with other parties to deliver a budget that stops the cuts.

The full text of the letter is below:

Dear Patrick,

Scottish budget

I am writing to you following media reports suggesting the Scottish Greens and the SNP government will potentially reach an agreement to pass the Scottish budget.

As you will be aware, Labour and the Greens are the two parties closest on tax and spend policy in the Scottish Parliament.

Along with the Liberal Democrats, Labour and the Greens ran on manifestos committed to increasing progressive taxation to invest in public services.

That is why I believe that together we can build an anti-austerity alternative to the current budget.

By contrast, the Conservatives and the Nationalists mainly just disagree on how large the tax cut for the top 15 per cent should be, and as a consequence our public services will suffer.

In the period between 2011 and 2016, the SNP majority government cut £1.4 billion from local councils across Scotland.

Now, in their first period of minority government, SNP ministers are proposing a further £327 million of cuts.

You know what these cuts will mean: fewer teachers and support staff in our schools; 15 minute care visits for our elderly; cuts to social work departments and welfare advisors to support our most vulnerable.

Labour cannot vote for a budget that carries out these cuts.

That is why we will table amendments to the Scottish budget to stop, in full, the £327 million cuts to local services like schools and care of the elderly, and instead urge the government to use the new powers of the Parliament to invest in our economy.

The Scottish Parliament can now generate extra resources to make the cuts unnecessary. We will seek to set an income tax rate just one penny higher than the rate set by Phillip Hammond, and we will back a 50p top rate of tax for the richest few.

Only these amendments will raise enough to stop the cuts to these services and offer additional investment.

Earlier this week I wrote to Derek Mackay outlining this position. We are looking to work constructively with other parties to deliver a budget that stops the cuts.

You have grown your movement on an anti-austerity platform – I struggle to understand how you could contemplate voting for anything less than the full mitigation of cuts to public services.

In the interests of transparency, I am making this letter public.

Sincerely,

Kezia Dugdale

Leader of the Scottish Labour Party

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7 thoughts on “Dugdale writes to Harvie seeking agreement on an anti-austerity alternative

  1. As usual, a totally context free missive from Dugdale.
    No mention of “AUSTERITY” which Labour not only wanted, but wanted MORE off, under Milibands leadership.
    No mention of the 10% cuts to Scotland, which have to be accounted for.
    No mention of the far greater cuts English local government has suffered under Westminster rule—and you don’t get this perpetual whinging from them.
    “Full mitigation of cuts to local services”.—NOW WE GET TO THE NUB.
    How much would that be? How much extra taxation would need to be raised from people who are already struggling with the longest squeeze on incomes in living memory? 1% on income tax? 3% on council tax? More? Much more?

    How much has Scottish Labour already committed in its spending plans? : Local Government. Education. NHS. Transport etc etc—hundreds of millions of pounds to each, yet they propose only a “one penny rise on income tax”—the whole tawdry thing is risible, from a party in hock to English/British nationalism (Brexit), who favour another EU referendum, but oppose a Scottish one, which ran Scotland into the ground over the 60 years of hegemony it “enjoyed” while vast oil revenues flowed south for astonishing new infrastructure projects (always the Biggest in Europe) and new car factories ( but only in England).——-and which is happy to see a whole bunch of Glasgow Labour councillors/officials swan of the South of France for a jolly in the middle of winter. Yup, Cannes is much more salubrious than Mayhill on a wet Tuesday morning.

  2. I obtained a copy of it here.

    Dear Mr P Turkey

    The festive season is behind us and once again we failed to achieve our purpose in life so I have a radical new proposal.
    Lets not wait for another festive season lets base ourselves garnish ourselves stuff ourselves in preparation for a vote to bring in a new festive event so we may finally fulfill our one true purpose.

    Yours Truly

    Miss K Turkey.

  3. Dugdale let the cat out of the bag when she stated she would not support another independence referendum “under any circumstances”.
    Now we know that Dugdale flip-flops on the constitution at random, but to offer to allow ANY act of malice from Westminster (and it looks like a right wing Tory government for as far ahead as we can see) toward Scotland to go unchecked or challenged is quite astonishing.
    She is offering the Greens an alliance, which she presumably hopes will bring down the Scottish Government.
    This will seriously damage the Scottish Labour party which is leaking support to all at every by-election, but she does not seem to care, only hoping the SNP will lose seats in the process (which appears doubtful considering the polls).
    That electoral Labour weakness would however, strengthen the Tories. Is Dugdale a “sleeper”, sent to lead Scottish Labour to its doom?

    1. I’m starting to wonder if Labour and the Conservatives are now working together at a far deeper level than they openly do.
      Perhaps Labour believe only the Conservatives have a chance to hang onto the Union and are willing to self sacrifice in order to try and achieve a Yoon majority of Tories in the Scottish Parliament?
      Its either that or the Labour leadership in Scotland is insane.
      Only the SNP and Con Tories will benefit from a snap election. Even the Greens will suffer. Chances are good for an overall SNP Government then they’ll have no problem getting a budget through.
      I just don’t get Labour anymore. I understood them better when they were self serving. This sacrificial lamb thing is very confusing.

  4. Oh dear Patrick confirms the Greens wont vote down a Scottish Government budget. Not a Turkey after all. Meanwhile Labour do what they do best at Westminster and once again abstain to allow the Conservative Government to win another vote comfortably.

    Seems Labour hates being the opposition so much they simply refuse to oppose eh except everything the Scottish Government says and does in Scotland oh and in Westminster.

    SNP Bad Tories sometimes good sometimes no bad sometimes ok sometimes our pals.

  5. Do you guys ever think before you write. On my local radio station phone in this morning call after call complaining about the SNP . The complaint was with 1 exception they held a meaningless debate on brexit. The FM was not in the chamber for most of it. Todays complaints were they should be having a debate on local services. Our local SNP councillors who were in control but walked away when they lost a by election. The first thing they complained about was that the new Labour administration cancelled a junket to Dublin. They even complained it cost more to cancel.

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