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SNP must reverse their cuts to colleges and housing

January 25, 2012 4:08 PM
Originally published by Scottish Liberal Democrats

Scottish Liberal Democrat MSP for Orkney, Liam McArthur spoke today on behalf of the Scottish Liberal Democrats during the Scottish Parliament Budget debate.

Commenting afterwards, Mr McArthur said:

"The Scottish Government has significant additional funds at its disposal since the draft Budget was published last September. This is the result of 'consequentials' from decisions taken by the UK Government. Sadly, the Budget Bill published last week provides no detail on how these resources will be spent.

"For colleges, facing the threat of significant cuts and wholesale mergers, this lack of detail is creating further difficulties. From my meetings with Orkney College, and discussions with students and staff, I know all too well the problems the cuts and continued uncertainty are creating in terms of planning ahead.

"On affordable housing too, SNP Ministers now have funds available that will help deliver the commitment to 6000 new homes for rent each year. The absence of any detail on this issue too, is regrettable, as there has been growing anger at the backtracking by Ministers over recent months.

"Meanwhile, the decision by the Transport Minister to remove work-related travel from the Air Discount Scheme is one that should now be reversed. Attempts to blame Brussels fool no-one and this damaging cut to our islands' lifeline air services is causing serious problems for local businesses, charities, voluntary groups and the public sector.

"In all these areas, more detail and a re-think are long overdue."