McLeod welcomes Scottish Government budget

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SNP MSP for the South of Scotland Aileen McLeod has welcomed the approval of the Scottish Government’s budget but accused Labour of failing a major test at this week’s budget vote after their MSPs voted against plans to increase funding for education and the NHS.

The SNp claims the budget Labour voted against will see a record £12 billion invested in Scotland’s NHS in 2015/16, make additional funds available to local authorities who commit to protect teacher numbers, provide a rates relief package worth £615 million to Scotland’s small businesses and keep Council Tax frozen for the eighth year running.

Additionally, it says, £330 million will be invested in Scotland’s school infrastructure and £140 invested in college campuses through NPD funding via the Scottish Futures Trust.

While Labour in Scotland has made almost £3 billion of spending pledges in recent months, the party has yet to give any indication of what is to be cut in order to pay for the increased spending.

Aileen said: “I was proud to vote for the Scottish Government’s budget tonight which sees record spending on Scotland’s NHS, but I am disappointed, though not surprised, that Labour MSPs, when faced with the chance to vote for more money for health and education, failed utterly to stand up for the priorities of people in Scotland.

“In this budget the SNP is investing a record £12 billion in the NHS, providing additional funds to local authorities who commit to protecting teacher numbers and supporting small businesses through a rates relief package worth £615 million.

“The Deputy First Minister also announced a total of £51m will be provided to maintain teacher numbers and Councils must commit to this to deliver the teachers our children deserve.

“On top of that we are investing £330 million in Scotland’s schools, including new schools in Dumfries and Dalbeattie, and £140 million in our colleges through the Scottish Futures Trust.

“As the opinion polls go from bad to worse for Labour, their failure to back this budget will only highlight their incompetence, as they pay a heavy price for their toxic alliance with the Tories. Many people will be asking themselves why on earth the Labour Party would vote against extra spending on nurses and teachers.”