By Democrat reporter

Scottish Labour has called for a budget that delivers justice for frontline health and social care workers, invests in jobs and businesses and supports our local councils.

Speaking in advance of the budget debate at Holyrood today, Dumbarton MSP and Scottish Labour interim leader and finance spokesperson Jackie Baillie, pictured right, said: “We need a budget that delivers a recovery with fairness and decency at its heart.

“Scottish Labour will today call on the SNP Government to support our call for a £15 an hour rate for all social care workers – it’s the least these vital, key workers deserve.

“The pandemic has rocked Scotland’s economy and led to a cost of living crisis for millions of Scots. That’s why we need a budget that not only kick starts Scotland’s economic recovery, but also puts fairness at the very heart of our economic future.”

Ms Baillie’s amendment reads: Jackie Baillie: Budget (Scotland) (No.5) Bill—As an amendment to motion S5M-24224 in the name of Kate Forbes (Budget (Scotland) (No.5) Bill), insert at end “, and, in so doing, notes the calls for an immediate rise in 2021-22 to £12 per hour for all social care workers followed by a review to establish steps to increase this to £15 an hour to fully recognise the value of their work.”

The Community Party in West Dunbartonshire have also sent a short, sharp message to Kate Forbes.

Community Party spokesperson, Louise Robertson, left, said: “Poverty coupled with the pandemic have wreaked havoc on our communities and West Dunbartonshire is second highest in Scotland for new Covid cases.

“We need more investment in our public services instead of the track record of the SNP and Labour which is to make cuts.

“The current gap of £2.9m plus an additional £5m needs to be financed from Westminster to provide the public services and jobs we need; Anything less will mean cuts in services and jobs increasing our already high levels of poverty.

“ If WDCP were the administration we would set a needs-based budget based on the needs of our communities and demand the Tory Government in Westminster fund the gap between what we are allowed to spend and what we need to deliver public services and retain jobs.”

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