Glasgow Labour MSP Anne McTaggart has blasted the Scottish Government for denying public services in Glasgow vital funding
Figures released this week revealed the annual underspend in Scotland’s budget for last year is £376 million.
Of this amount, £151 million is the amount of cash the Scottish Government has chosen not to spend funding our schools, hospitals, housing and other public services.
This comes on the day that Glasgow City Council announced that it may need to make a further £100m of cuts and savings in the next two years.
The Glasgow MSP blasted the decision, saying it was “astonishing” that local services were being underfunded whilst the Scottish Government sit on millions
In 2008 SNP Finance Secretary John Swinney boasted that the days of hundreds of millions in underspends were over – but for the second year he has been sitting on millions whilst local communities suffer brutal cuts to budgets.
Ms McTaggart said:
“It is absolutely astonishing that, during a time of unprecedented austerity, the SNP Government in Edinburgh has decided to deny millions of pounds worth of funding for public services in Glasgow.
“Every single day I am contacted by constituents feeling the brutal effects of austerity, and only today we have learnt that Glasgow City Council may have to make a further £100m of cuts and savings over the next two years.
“Across Scotland we are seeing a NHS which is failing on nearly every measure, an unacceptable attainment gap between rich and poor children in education, and a social housing crisis which sees waiting lists stretch into decades – why isn’t the available money being spent to help communities in Glasgow and across Scotland?
“Underspending a budget is a sign of poor financial management, and it is vulnerable people in our poorest communities who feel the effects.”
This year’s underspend is the second highest under the SNP, beaten only by last year.
This year: (2014-15): £376m in total
Last year (2013-14): £444m in total
John Swinney previously said: “Long gone are the days when hundreds of millions of pounds of government money would be underspent each year, doing nothing to help communities around the country.”