Scottish Labour calls for no confidence vote on Holyrood budget

Labour finance spokesman James Kelly has presented legislation to scrap the act. Picture: PA
Labour finance spokesman James Kelly has presented legislation to scrap the act. Picture: PA
Have your say

Scottish Labour has called on opposition parties to back a vote of no confidence in the draft budget at Holyrood on Wednesday.

READ MORE - UK ministers to reveal list of Brexit powers for Scotland

The party has tabled a motion stating the Scottish Government’s 2018/19 tax and spending plans do not protect public services.

Ministers have said their plans to increase income tax will bring in an extra £164 million.

However, Labour said they did not go far enough to protect areas such as local government from cuts.

Labour finance spokesman James Kelly said: “Labour is today laying down a vote of no confidence in the budget because it fails to protect public services, and those cuts will hit the poorest the hardest.

“Councils deliver lifeline local services like schools, housing, roads and social care.

“However, year after year these services face cuts, with an effective cut of £700 million this year alone.

“The SNP cannot hope to take the pressure off of our NHS or grow the economy for the long-term while cutting these budgets. It is a false economy that will sell Scotland short.

“Instead of tinkering around the edges, we need a budget that delivers real and radical change, protecting services and tackling poverty.”

The minority government needs the backing of one other party to pass its budget.

Patrick Harvie, Greens finance spokesman, said: “The budget as drafted must go further to improve council funding and public sector pay if it’s to win our support.

“Labour’s motion stating the obvious won’t achieve the necessary changes.

“If they really want to protect public services, they should recognise that in a parliament of minorities all parties have a responsibility to put forward positive and constructive proposals.”

READ MORE - Nicola Sturgeon says Scots could go it alone on Brexit deals