Alex Rowley’s collusion with the SNP

Your report on 3 April, ‘Youngsters let down by ‘Tory austerity’, claims Labour MSP’, suggests Alex Rowley is either living in a parallel universe or he has got his austerities mixed up.

The austerity suffered by councils does not come from Westminster Tories, but Holyrood nationalists. Since 2010 councils have suffered a near ten per cent real terms cut in budgets.

This is not the result of a similar cut to the block grant Holyrood receives because that has been consistently bolstered by the Barnett Formula, so that 25 per cent more per head is spent on devolved services in Scotland than on the same services in England.

It is the SNP at Holyrood who have decided to divert this bonus to their pet projects – Police Scotland and free uni tuition, to name the two most expensive – instead of passing it on to local authorities to maintain health, education and other core services.

It is baffling why Alex Rowley colludes with the SNP in hiding behind the canard of ‘Tory austerity’. He is not bound by a coalition agreement banning criticism of the SNP – unlike his Labour colleagues at Fife Council who recently had to grit their teeth and propose the very education cuts Mr Rowley is protesting.

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