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Scottish Conservatives set out stall for budget deal

The Scottish Conservatives are to set out a series of demands tomorrow which would enable the finance secretary to get his budget through Holyrood.

Derek Mackay will announce his financial plans for next year on Thursday, but needs the support of at least one other party for them to be approved.

And as part of Scottish Conservative party business in parliament tomorrow (Wednesday), shadow finance secretary Murdo Fraser will reveal his demands in order to secure that support.

He described the proposals as “not unrealistic and not unduly radical” and pointed out that it would allow the SNP government to ignore the increasingly extreme and damaging suggestions from the Greens.

Included in the Scottish Conservatives demands are:

  • £15.4 million for drug rehabilitation beds
  • £50 million to protect 750 officer roles
  • An increase in council funding at least in line with inflation
  • More cash to help end homelessness

Mr Fraser will point out that, thanks to more money coming from Westminster to Scotland, the SNP should have 2.1 per cent more cash to distribute.

However, he will add that because of the SNP’s failure to grow the economy at the same rate as the rest of the UK, and previous mistakes in projecting tax receipts, half of that has already been squandered by the nationalists.

 

Scottish Conservative shadow finance secretary Murdo Fraser said:

“As a result of increased spending in Westminster, the SNP government will now have considerable additional sums to spend.

“That means there is no justification for additional tax increases or further cuts to public spending.

“We believe the two priorities for this budget should be measures to grow the Scottish economy, which lags behind the rest of the UK, and support for our vital public services.

“We will assess any budget proposal from the SNP against these measures.

“This package of proposals is not unrealistic, nor is it unduly radical.

“It represents a credible and affordable package which can be delivered within the overall financial envelope available to the Scottish Government.

“I hope that they will sit down and work with us in coming weeks to deliver a budget which prioritises growing our economy, expanding out tax revenues, and supporting our vital public services.”

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