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SNP must explain why they are short-changing Aberdeen on key funding

May 19, 2013 3:26 PM
Originally published by Scottish Liberal Democrats

Scottish Liberal Democrat by-election candidate Christine Jardine has called on SNP candidate Mark McDonald to explain to the people of Aberdeen Donside why he voted for a funding deal which short-changed the city by £21m.

As a list MSP Mr Mcdonald voted to approve the SNP Government's financial package for local authorities which saw Aberdeen receive just 79% of the national average offered to councils - that is below the 85% minimum his party had promised.

Ms Jardine's intervention came as reports emerged that the SNP are also set to snatch an additional £5.5 million of local business rates payments from Aberdeen Council.

Christine Jardine said:

"This money could have made a substantial difference to businesses and families in Aberdeen Donside.

"Anyone who has ever tried to drive into the city or negotiate the Haudigan roundabout in rush hour knows that something needs to be done to relieve the pressure. £21m could have paid for a new Don Crossing with almost £6m left to boost local services, build a stronger economy or invest in child care for families.

"I am disappointed that Mark McDonald was prepared to let his SNP colleagues short-change Aberdeen in this way when they are piling money into high-profile projects like rail improvements and the new Forth Crossing in the central belt.

"Mark McDonald talks about protecting local services but when it came to the crunch at Holyrood he let Aberdeen down. It is high time that he explained why he thinks it is fair that local people should miss out on this essential funding."