Tue 4 Sep, 2018

This government knows fine well that failure to devolve local tax powers will prevent any discussion about the coming year’s budget. Andy Wightman MSP

The publication of the Scottish Household Survey, showing that satisfaction in public services is at its lowest since the survey began in 2007, is further evidence of the urgent need for councils to be given tax powers, says a Green MSP.

Andy Wightman, the Scottish Greens’ local government spokesperson, is also warning Scottish ministers to avoid repeating attempts at “green window dressing” after the survey also showed a considerable rise in those who believe climate change is an “immediate and urgent problem”.

Mr Wightman, a Green MSP for Lothian, said:

“The findings of this poll, showing the lowest level of satisfaction in three public services, must serve as a final warning to ministers to change their centralising mind set and desist in blocking council efforts to raise more revenue to protect local services.

“This government knows fine well that failure to devolve local tax powers will prevent any discussion about the coming year’s budget.

“Furthermore, the recent claim by the First Minister that Scotland is at the ‘forefront of low carbon travel’ is now even more laughable when we see how poorly public transport performs in the Scottish Household Survey. Scottish ministers have a lot of making up to do after being distracted by the corporate lobbying of Heathrow expansionists instead of focusing on better buses and rail services run in the public interest.” [3]

On climate change, where the survey shows six in ten adults (61%) view climate change as an immediate and urgent problem, a 6 percentage point increase since 2016, Mr Wightman said:

“Given how seriously the public in Scotland views the threat of climate change, the government would do well to avoid any repeated attempts of green window dressing. I don’t think the public would take kindly to ministers claiming again that a paltry £16m fund will somehow put Scotland at the ‘forefront of low carbon travel’”.

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