Bernard backs plans to stop SNP cuts to schools and vital public services

Monday February 22nd 2016

Bernard Harkins Labour

Scottish Labour candidate for Midlothian North and Musselburgh has backed bold plans from Scottish Labour to protect local schools and services from SNP cuts.

Scottish Labour is calling on the SNP Government to use the new powers available to Holyrood today to set an 11p Scottish Rate of Income Tax in next year’s budget for 2016/17.

This would mean setting a rate 1p higher than that proposed by George Osborne and John Swinney.

Under plans for a payment to ensure low paid workers benefit, more than 810,000 workers in Scotland will pay not a single penny more. The payment will be worth £100 to all income taxpayers earning under £20,000.

Someone on a salary of around £30,000 a year would pay less than £4 a week extra under this plan. By contrast, someone on the same £144,687 wage as the First Minister would pay an extra £28 a week (£1,447 a year).

The draft budget set out by the SNP Government for the next year proposes cuts worth hundreds of millions of pounds to the funding for local
councils, which will have devastating consequences for education in particular.

Bernard said the consequences of that would be devastating for local services in Midlothian North and Musselburgh and would rob children across
the country of opportunities.

Scottish Labour Candidate for Midlothian North and Musselburgh said:

“The SNP Government in Edinburgh has a choice. They can impose brutal cuts on our local services like our schools in Midlothian North and Musselburgh or they can use the powers of the Scottish parliament to reject that austerity and invest in our country’s future.

Given the choice between using the powers of the Scottish Parliament or cutting into Scotland’s future, Scottish Labour will choose to use our

Scottish Labour will set the Scottish Rate of Income Tax one pence higher than the rate set by George Osborne and John Swinney, to provide an extra
half a billion pounds a year to invest in our future.

This choice is about protecting our children’s schools and our nation’s economic future from these cuts; it means half a billion more to invest in
the future of our children and our country.

Low-paid workers will be the biggest winners of our plan. One in four workers won’t pay a single penny more, and one in five low paid income
taxpayers will actually benefit from this plan, with a £100 annual payment for income taxpayers earning under £20,000.

Austerity isn’t working for families in Midlothian North and Musselburgh. We can make a different choice and fairer choice. We can stop these cuts.”

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