SNP HAS TURBO-CHARGED TORY AUSTERITY ON COUNCILS AND HEALTH

The Vale, RAH and QE2 hospitals and the Hospitalwatch team with Jackie Baillie and Health Secretary Jeane Freeman.

By Bill Heaney

An independent report produced by the Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPICe) shows that between 2013-14 and 2018-19, the Scottish government revenue budget was cut by 2.8% but the SNP has hammered councils with cuts to their budgets of 7.5%.

Scottish Labour MSP, Jackie Baillie, has said that the cuts have put lifeline services in Argyll and Bute and West Dunbartonshire at risk.

Most recently, SNP-controlled West Dunbartonshire Council has increased charges for care alarms leaving hundreds of vulnerable people struggling to cope with the increased costs.

In Argyll and Bute, there was a reduction in the youth and adult learning services budget to less than half its previous level.

Jackie Baillie said: “This SNP government constantly blame their budget cuts on the Tories in Westminster but this report shows that they are turbo charging Tory austerity and passing it on to councils across Scotland.

“Instead of using the powers of the Scottish Parliament to stand up to the Tories, the SNP is using Holyrood as a conveyer belt for cuts.  The cuts are being felt most by those who can least afford them.

“Instead of sitting on half a billion pounds in unspent cash, it’s time that Derek Mackay properly funded local government.”

Meanwhile, on the health front, operations had to be cancelled across Greater Glasgow and Clyde because hospitals simply could not cope, new figures reveal.

Data published by ISD Scotland shows that 112 operations were cancelled in May 2019 due to non-clinical reasons such as not having enough staff or unclean equipment.

Across Scotland, 500 planned operations were cancelled in May 2019 because hospitals could not cope.

MSP Jackie Baillie said that the figures show our NHS is simply not getting enough resources from the SNP government.

She said:  “Behind each of these figures is a patient waiting in pain for treatment that hospitals have not been able to treat.

“We have seen a staffing crisis develop in our health service, with huge unfilled gaps for consultants, nurses and midwives.

“Patients across Greater Glasgow and Clyde are being let down by the SNP government and they are not getting the care they deserve.

“It is time to use the powers of the Scottish Parliament to properly fund our NHS.”

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