Swinney's Crumbs Are No Comfort

For immediate release 8 February 2012

Speaking in today's debate on the Scottish Government budget, Green MSPs say last-minute revisions proposed by the Finance Secretary are a missed opportunity.

Additional funds proposed for colleges and housing must be considered against a background of deep cuts by the SNP.

Spending on transport continues to show a massive increase for road-building programmes while funding for projects to make it easier to walk and cycle around our communities is being slashed*.

Green MSP Patrick Harvie said:

“These crumbs are of little comfort. Green MSPs made perfectly reasonable calls for the SNP to honour their own manifesto promise to increase investment in the sustainable transport systems Scotland needs. Sadly the SNP are stuck in past, thinking we need to spend billions on new motorways, when they have a historic mandate to show how Scotland can be a beacon of progress.”

“It’s good they have heeded the calls to support college students. However, today’s increase must be set against the huge cuts colleges have seen, two years running, to their teaching grants. At a time when the further education sector is crucial to economic recovery, this remains one of the most reckless aspects of the budget.”

*Active travel was 1.21 per cent of the government’s travel budget in 2010/11. By 2013/14 it will be 0.79 per cent.