A MORAY CANDIDATE for Scottish Labour in the forthcoming Holyrood elections has hit out at SNP politicians pounding the streets of Moray in protest against cuts – while throwing out a plan to tackle the issue.
Sean Morton insists that local MSP Richard Lochhead should now be supporting Labour’s attempts at increasing income tax in Scotland by 1p in the fight to save local council services.
The Fochabers/Lhanbryde councillor’s comments came after the SNP voted with the Tory party against the Labour proposals during the Scottish budget debate at Holyrood on Wednesday.
Labour’s proposal for the 1p rise in all rates of income tax north of the border was defeated, prompting their public services spokesperson, Jackie Baillie, to say: “This is bitterly disappointing from the SNP Government.
“Nicola Sturgeon promised that more powers meant we could be different from the Tories. Today she voted not to use the powers alongside the Tories. It is our children’s schools that will pay the price in cuts the SNP Government don’t need to make.
“When faced with a choice between using the powers of the Parliament to invest in the future or more cuts to our children’s schools, Labour backs more investment. By voting with the Tories against using our powers, the SNP are backing more cuts.
“It is not too late to stop these cuts. The Budget process will continue until the end of the month and we will be appealing directly to individual SNP MSPs who have campaigned against austerity.”
That found favour with Councillor Morton, who will learn on Friday if his bid to become and MSP will be boosted by his being high on Labour’s Highlands and Islands list candidates for May’s election.
He said; “I am asking Richard Lochhead to remember how many times he has pounded the streets of Moray calling for an end to cuts. I would also to remember how time and time again he’s been quoted in the newspapers saying he’s against cuts.
“Those were easy but admirable things to do when he didn’t have a vote in the council chamber or in Westminster where they held all the purse-strings but now our fate is in the Scottish government’s hands.
“If Mr Lochhead wants to prevent the brutal cuts coming Moray’s way he’ll step up. Never has it been so important to future of schools, jobs and services that he be Moray’s man, not the SNP’s man.”