Holyrood 2016: Parties clash over NHS and spending plans

Deputy First Minister John Swinney warned Labour would spend up to �500 million less on the NHS. Picture: TSPL
Deputy First Minister John Swinney warned Labour would spend up to �500 million less on the NHS. Picture: TSPL
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The SNP and Labour have clashed over their commitment to public services in the final days of the election campaign.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney warned Labour would spend up to £500 million less on the NHS with a manifesto commitment only proposing a “real terms“ increase - not the SNP’s inflation busting rise.

“Kezia Dugdale needs to urgently explain why her manifesto said one thing on NHS spending and, just a few days later, she claimed it said something else,” Mr Swinney said.

“Labour are in the absurd position of offering the lowest NHS spending of any party in this election but pretending that their position is the same of ours.”

Ms Dugdale pointed to independent research from the IPPR think tank which showed Labour’s planned tax rises will mean an extra £3 billion for public services.

“The choice at this election is absolutely clear – it is between guaranteed rises in spending on public services with Labour, or more cuts with the SNP. That is what people are voting for on Thursday. There are just two days left to avoid £3 billion of cuts to Scotland’s public services that are coming down the road with another SNP government.”