Last week’s budget announced by the Scottish Government does not do enough to stop Tory austerity and fails to tackle poverty.
We know that Local Government budgets need £545 million to stand still yet the proposals passed only deliver £159 million. This shortfall prevents services being properly resourced to help those most in need. When 260,000 Scottish children are living in poverty and public services overstretched, radical change is needed.
Scottish Labour’s tax plan would raise nearly £1bn extra this year which would allow us to increase Child Benefit by £5 a week and help families struggling with the cost of living. A policy supported by The Child Poverty Action Group.
Our tax proposals would tax high earners more than Scottish Government plans while setting a starter rate – this is only fair.
They would also give councils across Scotland the £545 they need to stop the cuts, and provide the NHS with and extra £100 million so desperately needed. With less resources, public sector workers are under immense pressure to deliver services and it simply isn’t sustainable. They would also properly fund public sector pay.
Our proposals would support integrated health and social care provision. The UN fight to an adequate home in Scotland must of course mean a warm home. Those vulnerable and elderly who will be increasingly cared for at home will need a warn home to go to.
The cuts could also jeopardize Council projects such as energy efficiency programmes which tackle fuel poverty and help address our climate change emissions.
I cannot support a budget which is failing the people of Scotland and allowing inequalities to deepen.