Wed 11 Sep, 2013

Scottish Greens are describing the 2014-15 budget outlined today by Finance Secretary John Swinney as flat and lacking in ambition.

The £27.8billion spending plans see a continuation of the one per cent pay increase cap on most public sector workers, while removing a complete freeze for public servants earning more than £80,000.

It also continues the regressive council tax freeze, which benefits the richest and restricts councils' ability to raise revenue for local services.

Despite growing calls for investment in cycle infrastructure the Sustainable and Active Travel budget is due to fall from £35million this year to just £15million in 2015-16, and there is no clarity over where the shortfall will come from.

New money to mitigate the impact of the bedroom tax on social housing tenants is welcome.

Patrick Harvie, Green MSP for Glasgow and Co-convener of the Scottish Greens, said:

"The Scottish Government's attempt to bill this budget as looking to the future falls flat. SNP ministers are continuing their stranglehold over local authorities when they should be freeing them up to protect public services and build strong local economies, and their approach to public sector pay is simply unfair.

"Scottish Greens are describing the 2014-15 budget outlined today by Finance Secretary John Swinney as flat and lacking in ambition.

The £27.8billion spending plans see a continuation of the one per cent pay increase cap on most public sector workers, while removing a complete freeze for public servants earning more than £80,000.

It also continues the regressive council tax freeze, which benefits the richest and restricts councils' ability to raise revenue for local services.

Despite growing calls for investment in cycle infrastructure the Sustainable and Active Travel budget is due to fall from £35million this year to just £15million in 2015-16, and there is no clarity over where the shortfall will come from.

New money to mitigate the impact of the bedroom tax on social housing tenants is welcome.

Patrick Harvie, Green MSP for Glasgow and Co-convener of the Scottish Greens, said:

"The Scottish Government's attempt to bill this budget as looking to the future falls flat. SNP ministers are continuing their stranglehold over local authorities when they should be freeing them up to protect public services and build strong local economies, and their approach to public sector pay is simply unfair.

"In the months ahead as this budget is debated Scottish Greens will press ministers to do more to tackle the cost of living. A greater focus on reducing inequality, improving public transport and supporting small firms would show real ambition.""

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