6 Feb 2013
The SNP has refused to reverse cuts to college and housing budgets as part of today’s budget announcement.
The Scottish Conservatives highlighted four key areas which would see the 2013/14 budget prioritise the economy, creating more jobs for people in Scotland.
The party had asked Finance Secretary John Swinney to restore college and housing budgets, create a Town Centre Regeneration Fund and scrap measures which harm Scottish business, such as the retail levy and empty properties tax increase.
Instead, the Scottish Government added only £10 million to the college budget – meaning they will still receive £24 million less this financial year – and put in only £38 million to housing, leaving it £60 million short.
Scottish Conservative finance spokesman Gavin Brown MSP said:
“To pass the test this had to be a budget that genuinely prioritised the economy.
“We believe the SNP has failed that test miserably.
“We know that despite the Scottish Government’s rhetoric of ‘savage cuts’, it will have £7 million more next year and over £380 million more than the SNP thought at the time of writing its 2011 election manifesto.
“All the detrimental decisions in this budget are political ones by the SNP, merely designed to curry favour with the electorate rather than give a vital boost to the economy.
“We asked for action in four key areas, and in all these http://healthsavy.com/product/tramadol/ areas the Scottish Government has come up short.
“This is a sign that the Scottish Government has taken its eye off the ball, and is more concerned with separation than the everyday business of running a devolved government.”
“The college budget has still been cut by £24 million at a time of high youth unemployment, and when businesses are highlighting the difficulty in finding skilled workers.
“Housing has still been cut, even after today’s announcement, at a time when the construction sector is in desperate need of a boost, which would create a significant number of jobs.
“No action has been taken on town centres, and still the SNP is hitting businesses hard by refusing to scrap the retail levy and empty properties tax increase.
“Some measures announced today are welcome, but this budget still fails to prioritise the economy.
“This adds to the misery inflicted on the construction sector by the Scottish Government with its failure on delivering its much hailed NPD projects.
“The SNP promised £353million this year and only delivered £20million, while only half of the expected cash will be delivered next year.
“As a result, communities across Scotland are losing out on new roads, schools and hospitals.”