The Tories - the party of austerity - have been exposed as “treating the public with contempt” after calling for more spending on public services, despite simultaneously demanding £500 million in tax cuts.
Last month the SNP revealed that Tory politicians had made over 100 separate demands for extra spending on everything from potholes to the NHS during the run up to the 12 December budget statement.
This lengthy shopping list is despite the Tories at Westminster cutting Scotland’s budget, which is now £1,900 million (7%) less than a decade ago.
Tory MSPs have continued to make more spending demands since New Year, including:
Increased business rates relief
Higher enterprise funding
Refunds for NHS staff paying PFI car park costs
New funds to roll out electric vehicles in rural areas
More money for local authorities
Compensation for rail commuters
Increased tourism spending
Kenneth Gibson MSP said:
“The Tories are treating the public with contempt by making endless spending demands on one hand, while demanding the SNP Government cuts its own budget to deliver lower taxes for higher taxpayers with the other.
“The fact is that the Tory’s sole priority in this budget is tax cuts, meaning less money for our frontline public services.
“The Tories have cynically refused even to prepare an alternative budget, asking for ‘more money’ for local government whilst refusing to say how much, or whether it would come from more taxes or other areas of the Scottish Budget. They even admitted that Scotland is doing better than England or Wales, where Local Government is ‘collapsing’ according to Tory Councillor Gail MacGregor in her evidence to Holyrood’s Local Government Committee on 09 January.
“The Tories must now tell us how they could simultaneously deliver tax cuts, whilst spending hundreds of millions more on their rapidly growing shopping list.
“It doesn’t add up – and it’s about time the Tories were honest with people.”