Joan McAlpine has slammed Ruth Davidson and the Scottish Tories for their refusal to stand up for Scotland’s interests during the fiscal framework negotiations, an agreement on which was reached late yesterday. As the only party in Scotland who failed to back the Scottish Government during the fiscal framework talks they would have been happy to inflict a £7 billion cut to the Scottish budget.
Ms McAlpine said the original Treasury plan would have devastated public spending in Dumfries and Galloway. She said: “The Barnett Formula, which the Treasury tried to ditch, is designed to protect the higher cost of delivering things like health and education in rural areas like Dumfries and Galloway. The Scottish Tories were happy to see that wiped out and to hurt many people in this area.
““The Treasury’s climb down is deeply embarrassing for the Scottish Tories who were urging Scotland’s government to sign up to a deal that would have resulted in a £7 billion cut to Scotland’s budget. Labour eventually saw sense and backed the Scottish Government, the STUC backed the Scottish Government, Professor Anton Muscatelli, Principal of Glasgow University and eminent economist backed the Scottish Government.
“Only the Tories in Scotland were ready to roll over and surrender to George Osborne’s bad deal. Even as late as Tuesday afternoon they wanted Nicola to agree to a deal which would have merely postponed the cut.
“For the many people who voted ‘no’ in the referendum in the belief that Scotland would gain a ‘powerhouse parliament,’ the behaviour of the Scottish Tories is a slap in the face and reinforces how little they care about Scotland, its parliament and people. That the Tories played so fast and loose with the devolution deal while attempting to rob Scotland of a fair settlement is insulting and will not be forgotten in a hurry.
“What’s clear today is that the Tories do not have Scotland’s best interests at heart. They don’t fight for Scotland, they won’t protect Scotland’s essential public services and they won’t stand up for the Scottish people.”