SNP comment on Labour’s budget anti-poverty commitments

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SNP Councillor Jim McClung this evening (Wednesday) said commitments by the Labour Administration on Dumfries & Galloway Council to allocate funding to their Anti-Poverty Strategy in their draft budget, due to be published on Friday, shows “what a difference a day makes” and claimed the move has been forced on the Labour Party by pressure from the SNP.

Cllr McClung commented:

“I will always welcome money actually being spent on projects which stand a chance of helping people in poverty. To that extent, at least, I welcome what Ronnie Nicholson is pledging today.

“But what a difference a day makes. Only 24 hours ago Mr Nicholson was claiming Scottish Government money and initiatives introduced long before he sat in the Leader’s office as evidence of his Administration’s commitment to tackling poverty.

“Now he’s promising to allocate the very money I identified as lying unspent in Council coffers and can work out how to do that within a matter of hours. Indeed it is deeply ironic that he intends to allocate anti-poverty money to Area Committees when just two weeks ago I highlighted the scandal of a local foodbank having to appeal for Area Committee funds while millions of pounds went unspent.

“And however welcome this climbdown is, it is nothing that couldn’t and shouldn’t have been done months ago. If these plans could be drawn up in 24 hours in response to SNP pressure there is no reason whatever why they couldn’t have been made months ago and vulnerable people and communities have benefitted from this money already.

“That indefensible delay is a savage indictment of this Administration’s priorities. They talked the talk on tackling poverty but had to be dragged kicking and screaming to the point where they’ll spend so much as a brown penny of the money.”