Money where your mouth is, First Minister

iain grayIain Gray MSP,  Scottish Labour’s Opportunity Spokesperson, says we have a moral and economic duty to stop the damaging cuts to education and our children’s future, and we therefore choose to use our powers. 

 

Nicola Sturgeon said that Scottish education would become the driving and defining responsibility of her government.

Nice rhetoric, so what about the record? Under the SNP government:

  • there are 4,000 fewer teachers;
  • 152,000 fewer students go to college;
  • 6,000 children leave primary school in Scotland unable to read properly;
  • children from richer families are twice as likely to go to university as those from poorer homes;
  • student debt has doubled and grants have been slashed.

Information released this week shows that the average spend per primary pupil in Scotland is down £561 in real terms since the SNP were re-elected and formed a majority in 2011. And the Scottish budget Holyrood will debate this week plans to cut the Education and Lifelong Learning budget by more than £130 million (4.4%) in real terms next year.

Despite pledging to protect spending for the NHS and police budgets the SNP have never made that same commitment to education. And of course, the hundreds of millions of cuts planned for local councils will have a devastating impact on schools and other services on which our young people rely.

That’s some way to make education a priority.

Scottish education cannot take another round of SNP cuts. Nor should it. The best investment any government can make is in its people. We can’t cut the attainment gap whilst cutting the schools budget, and we won’t give our young people the skills they need for the jobs of tomorrow unless we give our schools the resources they need to deliver.

That is why, given the choice, Scottish Labour will choose to use our powers in the Scottish Parliament to invest in our children’s future and our nation’s future.

Scottish Labour would set the Scottish Rate of income tax at 11p, a penny higher than the rate set by George Osborne. That will deliver close to half a billion of extra revenue to protect our children and young people form these cuts.

We will ensure that the low paid will not lose out. Low paid workers won’t pay a penny more, thanks to a payment of £100, and we will provide an extra half a billion pounds more for public services, enabling us to avoid cuts to education. One in four workers will pay no more than today. One in five taxpayers will gain from this policy.

This is the single most important economic investment we can make in our country’s future. In twenty years’ time some of the children in our classrooms today will be working in industries we haven’t imagined yet. Don’t believe me? Think of trying to explain a career as an app developer to someone in 1996.

We have a moral and economic duty to stop these cuts. Given the choice between using our powers or making cuts to our children’s future – our nation’s future – we choose to use our powers. That’s our priority.

Over to you, First Minister.

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19 thoughts on “Money where your mouth is, First Minister

  1. a classic example of labor trying to play both ends of the game and blame someone else for their actions.

    “there are 4,000 fewer teachers;
    Employment numbers are under the direct control of Local Councils, the Scottish Government cannot employ teachers. The COSLA concordat of 2008 with the SNP administration, Labour councils promised to maintain Staffing and frontline budgets in return for a removal of the ring fencing of education budgets….Labour reneged on that promise and cut both year on year.

    152,000 fewer students go to college;
    Labour voted for the Charter for budget responsibility in Jan 15 and abstained on later that year…the resulting cuts means that the 152,000 places (all part time and liesure courses) were cut to ensure funding for meaningful full time courses for young people.

    6,000 children leave primary school in Scotland unable to read properly;
    See comment above – Labour controled councils have complete autonomy in the direction that Scottish education is implemented at classroom level…..if it’s bad it is their responsibility to identify and correct…

    children from richer families are twice as likely to go to university as those from poorer homes;
    overall university applications are up and an OECD reports that Scotland is the best educated populace in Europe…there is work to still do ,but credit where its due

    student debt has doubled and grants have been slashed
    Graduate endowment anyone?

    average spend per primary pupil in Scotland is down £561 in real terms since the SNP were re-elected and formed a majority in 2011
    remind me who is in charge of budget allocations to schools again…..that would be local labour controlled councils, slashing spending, doing damage and crying it’s all the SNPs fault

    Scottish education cannot take another round of SNP cuts.
    Labour cuts…rather than deal with bloated management structures and poor capital spending decisions

    Scottish Labour would set the Scottish Rate of income tax at 11p, a penny higher than the rate set by George Osborne

    yeah….tax us hardworking folk to pay for Labours spending descisions at local level….great idea

    1. “Labour voted for the Charter for budget responsibility in Jan 15 and abstained on later that year…the resulting cuts”

      Actually it did no such thing.
      As sturgeon carefully explained in Holyrood (but only after the election) the Charter did not necessarily require £30bn of tory cuts.
      As Labour said at the time.
      As commentators and economists said at the time (indeed what they actually said was Labours plans were much the same as the SNP’s – with the added bonus that Labour actually had a chance of enacting the plans, had the aggressive nationalists not spooked the electorate in the marginals).

      If your key assertion is bobbins, you might want to think again.
      http://labourhame.com/the-big-lie-how-the-snp-deceived-the-scottish-public/

  2. “Scottish Labour would set the Scottish Rate of income tax at 11p, a penny higher than the rate set by George Osborne.” Am I missing something here? Did Gordon Brown not abolish the 10p tax rate?
    Second question – You start paying income tax over earnings of (I think) 11K/year. Does that mean Scottish Labour are proposing to raise income tax level by 1p on people earning say 15K, which would mean someone on 15k/year will pay an extra £400/year?
    Over to you Ian Gray

    1. The Scottish Rate of Income Tax SRIT is defined in the Scotland Act 2012. From April 2016 the main UK rates of income tax will be reduced by 10p for Scottish taxpayers and in its place the Scottish Parliament will be able to levy a SRIT applied equally to all Scottish taxpayers. If the SRIT is set at 10p then income tax rates will be the same as in the rest of the UK. SRIT can be reduced to zero and there is no upper limit.

      Here’s a full briefing paper on it:

      http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/FinancialScrutiny/How_income_tax_revenue_will_change_in_Scotland.pdf

      Re your second question, as set out in this piece and in earlier news stories (not to mention Kezia’s speech) a rebate of £100 per household will be paid to all earning under £20,000 per year, and that means that a fifth of earners in Scotland will actually take home more money, not less. People earning £15k will actually be £60 per year better off under Scottish Labour’s plans.

      I also have to ask how you reached the bizarre suggestion of someone earning £15k paying an extra £400 per year? A 1% increase on the £4k difference between £15k and the £11k allowance is £40, not £400. And with the £100 rebate, that makes a net £60 benefit for the £15k taxpayer.

      I’m sure having had your questions answered you’ll now be fully supporting this move?

      1. I am happy to congratulate KD and SL. It is good that Scotland has a party with a positive and different policy on taxation. Choice is good. Well done.
        Whether I support the proposal is not the issue. I am instinctively against tax rises. I believe we already pay too much tax.
        I especially don’t like the idea of taxing the poorest and then paying them a rebate as is proposed here. It is unnecessary, stressful and humiliating to have to go through the process.

        1. Actually the rebate is paid in advance, and therefore for the lowest paid above the tax threshold it actually represents a nice bonus.

          You’re instinctively against tax rises, eh? A Tory then.

          1. Yes I suppose ahmur. Is that bad? Nasty? And a nationalist.
            Please Duncan say a prayer for me when you kneel down to your self righteous socialist unionist gods.

  3. Councils, even non labour ones, control their budget to a far lesser degree than the Scottish Parliament. I can acknowledge that management of local authority schools requires to be reviewed, but it is ludicrous to criticise local government alone, absolving the Scottish Gov’t entirely, when so much of what happens in a school is affected by decisions taken at holyrood. Principally in the past few years decisions relating to funding for local government. The gov’t also largely controls capital spend thtough NPD/Hub model.

    “Bloated management structures” in local government…how many senior manager posts have LAs lost in the past 10 years? What is the ratio of senior-frontline staff in councils benchmarked agai st NHS, Scot Gov etc? I bet you don’t have a clue.

    The CBR didn’t commit labour to cutting the budget at all.The labour party’s signature to it permitted the party to adopt identical fiscal proposals to the SNP at the 2015 GE. Don’t believe me, ask the IFS or the First Minister.

    It’s not labour party policy to reintroduce the graduate endowment. But it should be. Free tuition on its own leads to a resource transfer from poor to rich. Ask Lucy Hunter Blackburn. It should be repaid along with the student loan when uni graduates start earning enough, like it is for me btw. The extra $ in the coffers should go to bursaries for folk for whom the free tuition policy isn’t enough to get them over the financial hurdles in the way of them accessing education, uni or college.

    This contribution by labour is the first from any political party that looks to get more money in the coffers to ease the strain on public services. Good. More of it!

    1. “when so much of what happens in a school is affected by decisions taken at holyrood.”

      Like what? All budgets to schools, educational initiatives, moderation and assessment of performance, staffing, resourcing, school estate management, closures etc are all in the hands of councils…the Scottish government can build new schools…that’s is it.

      “how many senior manager posts have LAs lost in the past 10 years? ”
      very few….and in cases has been increased

      “What is the ratio of senior-frontline staff in councils benchmarked agai st NHS, Scot Gov etc? I bet you don’t have a clue.”
      and you do……you may have a point if you can show councils are at a disadvantage

      “The CBR didn’t commit labour to cutting the budget at all.”
      didn’t say it did, I said the resulting cuts enacted because of it has slashed budgets and these cuts have been passed on in part to councils at a far lower rate than either English LAs or the Scottish government

      “It’s not labour party policy to reintroduce the graduate endowment. But it should be.”

      student debt has doubled and grants have been slashed was the comment from Ian Gray, implying that it should be maintained…..take that point up with him…you appear to be at odds with your own party…..not unusual.

      This contribution by labour is the first from any political party that looks to get more money in the coffers to ease the strain on public services. Good. More of it!

      at the expense of ordinary working Scots….rather than face up to the responsibility of managing finances and taking the cuts that Labour promised to make pre May 2015 on the chin….
      it is a well known fact that more tax is paid by lower earners as a proportion of income than higher earners wjho have more disposable money to take the increase…any tax increase further shifts the tax burden on the less well off…

  4. All this from the man who said “where would you get the money for a oil fund”, but it nows leads to labour wanting an increase in both council tax and income tax.

  5. Why are Scottish councils in such a fiscal mess when their cuts have been but a fraction of the cuts faced by councils in England?
    How much will it cost to raise this tax?
    How much will it cost to administer the distribution of the compensation?
    How will the recipients of the compensation be identified?
    Who will police the distribution of funds?
    Why cant we raise taxation of other things—alcohol, sugar, petrol etc, instead of earnings?

    How much do council taxes have to rise now?
    Will Scotland become the most heavily taxed area in the British Isles?

    1. You’ve had most of these angrily posed questions answered already. I suspect you’re not actually interested in the answers.

      I am almost certain that was additional taxation of alcohol, sugar and petrol proposed by Scottish Labour you would condemn it vociferously. You’re just stuck in “Laaabour baaad”.

      1. We want answers Dunc. Not in an angry way, that would be Murph-like and he is of the past.
        In a modern, Corbynite manner, where the truth is out there, naked and in your face.
        I DO want taxes based on consumption. Please do not doubt me.
        I would also like a land tax.
        I would also like a progressive system of taxation on earnings and wealth( both earned and inherited).
        I want big business taxed at a proper rate, and tax cheats jailed.

        Its why I left the Labour Party. I no longer fitted the Party of Blair, Brown and Mandelson, who sucked up to wealth and power in the most sycophantic and grovelling of ways.
        It was even worse when some of the money stuck to them.
        Wonder if we will ever know how much Blair has made since leaving office…………….
        or how much Mandy made while IN office.
        Or who gave it to them.

  6. “Money where your mouth is, First Minister”

    It is so ironic that Iain Gray when he was First Minster failed miserably with house building when he had the money he spent Zero Zilch and presided over the Scottish Labour section Red Tories record of failure in that he built no council houses whatsoever during his tenure, bearing that in mind his Red Tory colleagues referred to Iain with the pet name of Statue because of his lack of movement or action and to this day many Red Tories reminice of the good old days when Statue was their leader leading them into the political abyss with all talk and no action. Iain Gray should have thrown the towel in a long time ago as he does the Red Tories and young Kez no favours as all of these ex failed leaders hanging about are turning the last remnants of the Red Tories into a retirement club for dinasours but ehh never mind extinction is imminent at the next Scottish elections in May.

    1. Speaking of Red/Yellow insert smear here/Tories, you no doubt heard the Tory SMPs congratulating the SNP on their low tax low spending budget in Holyrood the other week.

  7. I can remember the SNP proposing a penny extra in tax back in 1999.
    The voters ignored them and Labour and the LibDems formed the government.

    1. The SNP wandered all over the political map trying to gain traction.
      They learned the magic formula post referendum.
      Talk Left, Walk Right.

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