Corbyn and Kezia: Forget the SNP myths – Sturgeon is just passing on Tory austerity

20th January, 2017 12:01 am

Kezia Dugdale Jeremy Corbyn

Jeremy Corbyn, Labour leader, and Kezia Dugdale, Scottish Labour leader, will tomorrow use a joint event in Glasgow to challenge the SNP administration at Holyrood to reverse its planned £327m cut to local services.

Theresa May’s plan is supposed to be for a clean Brexit. One she claims will create a stronger Britain. But all the signs are it will hand more power to the London elite and create a tax haven bargain basement Britain off the coast of Europe.

That was the race to the bottom message the Prime Minister gave in her speech on Tuesday.

If the UK government matched Ireland’s corporate tax rates, it would have cost us £120bn by 2022. Even less money for our underfunded and overstretched NHS. Less money for social care, whose budgets have been slashed by billions. And less money to give our councils.

Something Scots know all too well with the proposed SNP budget cut of £327m to local government. Just like the Tories, they’re devolving austerity and passing the buck.

So I am delighted that Kezia Dugdale and Scottish Labour are leading the fight against these latest cuts, on top of the council cuts implemented by the SNP since 2007, which once again threaten the very local services that keep our communities together.

The SNP government simply passes on Tory austerity and is increasingly failing to govern effectively or fairly.

Trying to talk Left at Westminster when in opposition, whilst acting Right in power at Holyrood, is not standing up for Scotland.

It is not standing up for Scotland failing to tackle the scandalous level of health inequalities here in this great city of Glasgow and across Scotland. It is not standing up for Scotland overseeing a growing attainment gap between children from poorer and wealthier backgrounds.

It is not standing up for Scotland refusing to use the powers of the Scottish Parliament to invest in all of these areas – and many more where the SNP has failed.

The SNP is not standing up for Scotland. It’s standing up for the establishment.

Both Kezia and I agree on the need to set up a People’s Constitutional Convention, led by Labour, to see how best we can redistribute reclaimed powers and resources across all our nations and regions.

I am also determined to replace the unelected House of Lords with a democratic second chamber that ensures every part of the UK has an equal say in the UK parliament. I want to replace the House of Lords with a Senate for the Nations and Regions.”

Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale is expected to say:

In the past few weeks, the SNP Government’s priorities have been clear for everyone to see.

Our Parliament is now more powerful than ever, with all the powers it needs to reverse Tory austerity. But despite this, our services are still facing £327m of cuts.

Cuts that come after a decade of SNP austerity where we have watched as teacher numbers have been cut, college places have been slashed and our NHS has been put under more and more strain.

Every week in the Scottish Parliament we are hearing stories of patients left on trollies, children turned away from A&Es and people being told to get treatment in Europe instead of staying on an NHS waiting list.

The SNP’s management and under-funding of our public services is a real and growing crisis in our country. And that is why Labour will vote against the budget in the Scottish Parliament.

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