NICOLA Sturgeon has called on all parties at Holyrood to unite in opposition to the £177 million cut to Scotland’s budget unveiled by Chancellor George Osborne this week.
In a letter to the main opposition leaders, the First Minister said they must speak with one voice to oppose the reductions to this year’s £30 billion Scottish Government budget.
I firmly believe that this would be a fairer and more effective approach to takeNicola Sturgeon
But the move has been rejected by the Tories who branded it the “politics of grievance”.
Ms Sturgeon set out the Scottish Government’s alternative to the UK government’s austerity programme, including increases in public spending of 0.5 per cent from 2016-17 to 2019-20.
“I firmly believe that this would be a fairer and more effective approach to take, but I also recognise there are a range of views across the political spectrum in the Scottish Parliament about the overall course of public spending and its impact on the economy,” Ms Sturgeon’s letter states.
The SNP leader added that move by the the Chancellor’s latest move shows “little respect” for the role of the Scottish Parliament.
“I hope that you will agree with me that all parties in Scotland must unite in making clear to the UK government that it is unacceptable for reductions to be imposed on this year’s Scottish Budget,” the letter adds.
But Tory chief whip John Lamont said: “Nicola Sturgeon doesn’t seem to understand that if Britain is going to prosper for the long-term, it needs to pay its way in the world and no longer pass on multi-billion pound deficits for our children and grandchildren. Her response over the last 24 hours has shown that the SNP prefers the politics of grievance to a constructive plan to pay down our debts.
“The Chancellor’s plans should be put into context. Only last December, he put extra money into the NHS across the UK, a decision which resulted in an additional £213m going to John Swinney’s coffers.”