The £170 million budget cut imposed on Scotland by public school-educated millionaire inheritee George Osborne is simply the opening salvo of a savage and brutal programme the Tories intend to inflict on Scotland (your report, 5 June).
Already Scotland and the UK have been subjected to five years of heartless Tory austerity allegedly to get the deficit down.
However, under Osborne’s stewardship the deficit has risen from £811 billion to £1.2 trillion.
Tory cuts are in fact ideological. Tories don’t believe in the public sector and want to sell everything to corporations. The consequences for working people of these policies has been horrific.
When David Cameron came to power 300,000 people used food banks. Today it’s 1 million and by the end of this parliament it’s predicted to be 2 million.
George Osborne, however, did not see fit to impose austerity on his paymasters in the City. Already these greedy fat cats have seen their collective wealth double under his stewardship.
Osborne is already paying back the £40 million donated to the Tories by hedge funds. He is selling of the rest of the Post Office for a fraction of its worth, all to Tory donors. This will mean the end of a six-day universal service.
With £12bn in cuts still to come, Osborne had shown the Tories simply don’t care about working people, the sick or the disabled. The Tories are cold-hearted, 19th-century robber barons. They only care about their own class.
It is a little rich for John Swinney to be complaining about a £170 million budget cut after he under-spent last year’s budget by £444 million.
I would expect John Swinney to be outraged by the £179 million cut of Westminster funds to Scotland.
It is, after all, his mission in life is to continually cry wolf and wind up his client base of people who think the SNP is going to save them from the inevitable re-balance of Scotland’s finances.
What amazes me is that not one opposition politician pointed out that, compared with the Scottish Government’s annual spend of £35 billion, this represents a reduction of £1 for every £200.
It is the equivalent of £35 per annum out of the £7,000 spent on behalf of every inhabitant every year.
Compared with the £440m Scottish Government underspend last year, or the £50m (£1 for every £10) that Aberdeenshire Council will have to cut from its £500m budget this month, it is peanuts.
That equates to less than the price of a bag of peanuts per person per week, in fact.
I suggest John Swinney should take some lessons in the meaning of democracy.
While he and his party are quite happy to impose SNP policies in Scotland as the SNP have a democratic mandate to do so, albeit with the support of less than half of those who voted, he objects to the same principle applying in the UK Parliament where the Conservatives were elected by votes throughout the UK, albeit with support of less than half of those who voted. Scotland rejected independence and thus the people of Scotland explicitly accepted that Scotland would be bound by policies set by whatever government was elected by the UK population.
The fact that Scotland elected 56 SNP MPs out of 59, with 49.97 per cent of the votes cast, is irrelevant in a UK context.
That only gives them the right, along with other opposition parties, to oppose policies with which they disagree, not to set those that they included in their manifesto.
The SNP have powers in Scotland (with more to come) to ameliorate the effect of cuts to their budget and I agree with George Osborne’s comments that they should put up or shut up.
Braid Farm Road