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SNP have thrown in the towel on college funding

January 26, 2012 5:24 PM
Originally published by Scottish Liberal Democrats

Scottish Liberal Democrat Education Spokesman, Liam McArthur MSP has criticised the Education Secretary, Michael Russell for appearing to 'throw in the towel' in the fight to reverse the deep cuts to Scottish college budgets.

Liam McArthur MSPLiam McArthur MSPAt Education Questions in the Scottish Parliament this afternoon, Mr Russell confirmed to Mr McArthur that he felt the current £40m cut represented a 'full, fair and final settlement' for the colleges.

Speaking after the exchange, Mr McArthur said:

"Since the Scottish Government published its draft budget last September, the amount it has to spend has increased by around £750m, according to figures produced by the Scottish Parliament's Financial Scrutiny Unit. During yesterday's debate on the Budget Bill, however, the Finance Secretary, John Swinney refused to reveal how those funds would be spent.

"Scottish Liberal Democrats believe some of these additional resources should be used to reverse the deep and damaging cuts the SNP are making to the budgets of Scotland's colleges. It was not unreasonable to expect the Education Secretary to be equally keen on making such a case to Mr Swinney.

"Astonishingly, he appears to have thrown in the towel and believes the £40m cut is a 'full, fair and final settlement', despite the fact that the Budget Bill will not be finally agreed for another month.

"Mr Russell appears more keen to attack anyone who disagrees with him than defend Scotland's colleges and students. This will not have gone unnoticed on campuses across the country".