Rennie: Budget is missed opportunity

Responding to the Scottish Government draft budget, Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie said:

“The budget is a missed opportunity. It does not do enough to meet the long term needs in the economy. We’ll need to scrutinise the tax proposals but the government seem to have introduced a modest tax increase. That’s an approach that we advocated at the election and the SNP opposed.

“We called on the Scottish Government to deliver a transformative investment in education, a step change in mental health and for the Scottish Government to keep their word on funding for lifeline ferry services in accordance with the will of parliament.

“Instead we have a set of announcements that pay lip service to the challenges that Scotland faces; a fraction of the funding that we have identified as being crucial to transforming mental health and the money on attainment funding does not go anywhere near far enough.

“What’s more, while the lifting of the public sector pay cap will be welcomed, it is unfunded. For local authorities this will impose additional costs and inevitably service cuts at the same time as the SNP Government have cut local authority budgets.

“We will continue to press the Scottish Government to deliver the investment that the Scottish economy needs.”

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