South Scotland SNP MSP Joan McAlpine has said communities across Dumfries and Galloway are set to benefit from an additional £5.114 million in funding for local services as a result of the Scottish Government’s budget passing Stage 1 this evening (Thursday).
Labour, the Tories and the Lib Dems meanwhile failed to support the additional investment – including local Labour councillor and MSP Colin Smyth who voted against the budget, even though it will result in extra funding for his own council.
Ms McAlpine has condemned the approach taken by the three parties, providing opposition for opposition’s sake rather than supporting investment in Dumfries and Galloway.
Commenting, Ms McAlpine said:
“This Scottish Government budget provides a strong funding deal for Dumfries and Galloway with an additional £5.114m investment. The budget gives important spending commitments in the NHS, education, infrastructure, environment and the economy.
“But with the exception of the Greens, for the opposition parties to vote against this was deeply disappointing – and clearly against the best interests of our communities.
“Labour, the Lib Dems and the Tories seem to be more interested in political point scoring rather than standing up for their local communities. It’s particularly baffling that Labour MSP and local councillor Colin Smyth has voted against extra funds for his own council.
“This was another embarrassing own goal for Labour and the Tories. In recent months funding for local government has been practically the only thing they have agreed on. But for the two of them to join forces in opposing a budget that gives 5.1million MORE to Dumfries and Galloway Council simply beggars belief – and leaves their credibility in tatters.”
The Scottish Government’s Draft Budget commits to spending in Dumfries and Galloway including:
· The £274m new Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary will become operational in March 2018.
- £285m for NHS D&G
- Construction of D&G Acute Services Redevelopment Project
- Dalbeattie Learning Campus
Wider investment includes:
- Rural broadband funding (£100m in digital and mobile infrastructure)
- Affordable housing (over £470m of direct capital investment)
- Energy Efficiency (£140m)
- Innovation and Investment Hubs in London, Dublin, Brussels and Berlin
- Regeneration Capital fund (£25m)
- Scottish Growth Scheme (£500m)
- Capital Stimulus Package (£100m) – which has helped deliver future for the Clydebridge and Dalzell steel plans and the aluminium smelter and hydro sites in Lochaber.
- Childcare expansion (£60m)
- Direct funding to schools, to help with Attainment Scotland Fund, incl free school meals (£120m)
- Universities investment (£1.6bn)
- Additional resource funding for the NHS (£300m)
- Transfer of resource from health to social care (£357m)
- Integration Authorities (£8bn)
- Mental Health (£1bn)
- Primary Care and GP improvements (£72m)
- Living Wage for social care workers (£107m)
- Police Scotland reforms (£36m)
- Bedroom tax mitigation (£47m)
- Golden Jubilee expansion (£200m)
- Cancer strategy (£100m)
- Additional nurses and midwives (£3m)
- IVF expansion (£2m)
- Type-1 diabetes support (£2m)
- Blood infection support (£20m over 3 years)
- In Care Survivor Support Fund (£13.5m over the next 5 years)
- Nursing discretionary fund (£1m)
- Capital funding for school improvements (£19m)
- New postgraduate support package of guaranteed £10,000 loan
- Double the number of people working for Scottish Development International across Europe
- Scottish employment service delivery (£20m)
- Fair Food Fund (£1m)
- Maintain pupil to teacher ratio (£88m)
- Regeneration of disadvantaged communities (£55m)
- Empowering Communities Fund (£20m)
- Funds the Scottish Housing Regulator that safeguards interests of tenants of social landlords, homeless, home owners and gypsy/traveller families
- Take forward Gender Balance on Public Boards Bill
- Invest in infrastructure to accelerate adoption of ultra-low emission vehicles
- Active travel funding (£39m)
- Increased international development fund (£10m)
- Humanitarian Aid fund (£1m)