#ScotBudget: We need a long term anti-austerity alternative, not hidden cuts – Baillie

Scottish Labour has said Scotland deserves better than today’s budget from the SNP.

Public Services and Wealth Creation Spokesperson Jackie Baillie called for an anti-austerity alternative and a long term plan in the most significant Scottish budget since devolution. Instead what we got was a budget of hidden cuts.

Scottish Labour welcomed extra investment in social care, having campaigned on the issue for weeks, but warned that SNP cuts to council services would make it harder to deliver. The SNP’s budget confirmed major cuts to local authority budgets – which means cuts to the budgets for schools, roads and care of the elderly.

Scottish Labour Public Services and Wealth Creation Spokesperson Jackie Baillie said:

“Politics in Scotland is changing. The debate now isn’t about pretending we can’t change things, but instead talking about what we can do with the new powers coming to the Scottish Parliament.

Before the budget the experts at IPPR Scotland said that the most brutal cuts to Scotland’s budget are a few years down the road. These are the hidden cuts which the SNP aren’t telling us about before May’s election with this one year election budget. People deserve to know what will be cut or what taxes will go up.

This is the most important budget since devolution, delivered by a party who promised to stand up for Scotland against Tory austerity. But it doesn’t deliver fairer taxes, a long term plan for Scotland or an anti-austerity alternative. Local services like our schools, roads and care of the elderly will face massive cuts.

Scottish Labour will offer a real alternative to austerity, with different decisions on tax to the Tories, and different decisions on tax to the SNP.

After eight years in power, a majority in this parliament and more powers than ever before, Scotland deserves better than this from the SNP.”

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8 thoughts on “#ScotBudget: We need a long term anti-austerity alternative, not hidden cuts – Baillie

  1. So how is a Scottish Government supposed to plan long term relative to a UK Government? How will they know in advance how much a UK Government will lob off the Scottish budget year on year off?
    More utter tripe from labour who can come up with zero alternative ideas. Criticism for criticism sake.
    Didn’t even have the guts to admit they would increase income tax council tax ARP etc etc.
    It was noticeable however that when asked and challenged on how they would avoid cuts they chose not to actually deny they would increase taxation.

    Once again the Scottish Government proves they can do the absolute best that can be done with the ever decreasing budget they get left with because of Westminster ideologically imposed austerity.
    Austerity that Labour not only agrees with but would have imposed had they won the election.

  2. If Labour is to be taken seriously as an opposition to the SNP in both local and national terms then alternative, costed, budget proposals need to be tabled in the Scottish Parliament. Labour’s rhetoric suggests that the Scottish Income Tax rate must be more than 10 pence. If this is indeed Labour’s policy it is necessary to state that this is the case.
    At local level Labour-led councils should be proposing increases in council tax to mitigate the effect of cuts. The Osborne proposal to allow a 2% increase in England to meet rising costs of social care could form the basis for this approach. Failure to challenge the SNP over council tax only reinforces the impression that neither Labour or the SNP has the nerve to use increased taxation to defend the poorest in our communities.
    As a recent returner to Scotland all I see from Labour and the SNP is rhetoric. The toy town parliament is a cost to taxpayers but has yet to provide much in the way of benefits. Tartan Tories v Red Tories – neither offers a choice for socialists north of the border.

    1. How can you protect the poorest by increasing their already overwhelming tax burden? Do you honestly think the tax burden in the UK isn’t massive enough already? Don’t you think we are being bled white enough? The truth is the vast majority of people cannot be squeezed anymore than they already are. What is needed is better management of the available resources. Less wastage less money spent of vanity projects foreign policy WMDs etc. Diverting more money into policies which can return more than the amount invested in them. Getting people into work getting people into better paying jobs so they can pay a greater proportion of taxation without having to increase the amount they have to pay relative to what they earn.

      But the bottom line is obvious. As long as Scottish resources are diverted and used up by Westminster Scotland cannot function within its full potential. Cannot fully fund itself. Cannot fully operate its policies in a manner which uniquely blends with Scotlands needs.
      National Independence is the only way Scotland can operate and work as a Nation its the only way it can use its full potential and full resources to fund its own needs.
      And spare me the pooling and sharing bullshit. There is no pooling and sharing in the UK there is only disproportionate distribution of resource favouring London and the SE of England because that’s where the power and influence resides.
      This idiotic experiment with Devolution should have ended years ago. It has never worked at any level and will not work at any level in the future.
      Only the braindead and the terminally deceitful will tell you otherwise.

      1. The tax burden in the UK favours the well healed, and the well healed in Scotland are as insulated from hardship as their chums down south.
        Your talk of “less wastage etc” seems to miss the point that vanity projects in Scotland funded by Holyrood or local authorities are just as wasteful as anything down south. Your blue-tinted spectacles seem to suggest that independence is the solution to all economic woes. However, your semi-literate economic comments suggest that the Tartan future you aspire to is of the sort Alex Salmond embraced as he kissed Donald Trump’s backside when he was First Minister. A free market, low tax independent Scotland is as much a figment of the imagination as UKIP’s vision of a UK outside of the European Union.

        1. Your interpretation of what is a vanity project relative to what is a necessary project should be clarified.

          My Blue tinted specs tells me that no level of Devolution is a substitute for full autonomy.

          If it were there would be more Devolved Nations relative to Independent Nations than there are by a long margin.

          There is no economic case for this union. There is no social case for this union. There is no democratic case for this union.
          If there were we would have seen it or read it or heard it by now.

          Instead the No campaign had no choice but to run with “project fear”.
          They had to because they couldn’t highlight the transparent failures and flaws with devolution relative to full autonomy.

          They couldn’t highlight the fact that all measures of devolution result is having less available to work with than full autonomy allows.

          Its ludicrous to try to pretend a certain level of devolution is better than full autonomy when you keep changing the level of devolution towards full autonomy with the message that the new level is better than the old.

          Don’t you think?

        2. Did you mean a “vanity project” such as the new forth crossing ‘Queensferry bridge’ our largest building project in Scotland currently ongoing, or should we just put that down to the SNP government looking ahead for Scotlands future.

          As for kissing Trump’s earse you may need to remember it was the last labour First Minster who started snogging up that particular orifice first.

          1. In what way is the second crossing a vanity project and not a necessary project? Are you deliberately trolling? You know Labour are desperately failing to make the lack of a second crossing an SNP bad smear.
            A vanity project would be the unnecessary and wasteful tram fiasco. Who is responsible for that one again?

            WTF has Trump got to do with anything? Yep lost the argument so went off on a troll.

  3. “Mike”, my comment was in reply to John Connelly’s comment not yours, you have completely got the wrong end of the stick.

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