Liberal Democrat deputy leader Sir Malcolm Bruce today said that SNP full fiscal autonomy plans pose a clear and present risk to public services and called on Nicola Sturgeon to set out what she would cut to fund the estimated £7.6 billion spending gap that would hit Scotland in the first year under the SNP’s economic plans.
Sir Malcolm warned that this black hole was equivalent to more than half of the Scottish NHS budget as he visited an Age Concern coffee morning in Cupar with North East Fife candidate Tim Brett.
On Wednesday, Nicola Sturgeon said that SNP MP’s would vote for Full Fiscal Autonomy in the first years of the new parliament. Treasury analysis has shown that these plans would leave Scotland facing a £40 billion funding black hole in the next five years alone.
Commenting, Sir Malcolm said:
“Only Liberal Democrats are committed to giving the Scottish NHS an £800m boost. It would mean more money for things like mental health and care services that older people rely on. Lib Dems in the UK government have prioritised mental health which for too long has been the Cinderella service of our NHS.
“Nicola Sturgeon told us that SNP MPs would vote for Full Fiscal Autonomy at the first opportunity. This could leave us facing a £7.6 billion funding black hole in year one of the new parliament. This is more than half the annual Scottish NHS budget.
"The SNP need to tell people what public services would be cut to balance the books under their plans. The SNP are veering away from a plan that has delivered 174,000 new jobs for Scotland and are putting the recovery at risk.
"Our message to people today in each of our eleven held seats, if they want to stay on the path to recovery, is to vote Liberal Democrat. It is the only way to stop the SNP pressing further on economic plans which pose a clear and present risk to services.”