SNP Broken Promises Will Affect the Islands
Peter Peacock, Highlands and Islands Labour MSP has spelled out the affect of the minority nationalist government's broken promises on the Western isles.
Speaking at a meeting of the Labour Party in Stornoway at the weekend, he said,
"As every week passes we are seeing more and more broken promises from the minority nationalist government.
"They seem to prefer to spend their time picking fights with Westminster than delivering what they promised the people of the Western Isles at the election in May.
"They said they would increase police numbers by 1000, now they say they wonít.
"They said they would cut class sizes at primary school in Primary 1, 2 and 3 by 2011, now they refuse to confirm they will.
"They said every nursery class would have a nursery teacher, now they say they wonít.
"They said they would freeze council tax, now they say it is up to hard pressed Councils to do that.
"They said they would match Labourís school building programme `brick for brick, and now its clear they wonít.
"They said they would give every new house buyer £2,000, now they are not so sure.
"All of this means there will be fewer police and teachers, fewer new schools, more council tax increases and no help for new home buyers in the islands.
"160 days of government littered with broken promises, promises made just 6 months ago.
"The SNP spent a lot of time making promises and now they spend all their time breaking them."
Peter Peacock went on to say this was all happening despite the biggest budget for public services Scotland has ever had.
"Alistair Darling has just handed the minority nationalist government twice as much money to spend in Scotland than Donald Dewar had just some 8 years ago.
"The SNP knew that would be the budget before they made their lavish promises and there is no excuse for not delivering what they promised.
"At £30,000,000,000 (£30 billion), the Western Isles needs its share to improve policing and education and to freeze council tax, as promised.
Peter Peacock was able to tell the local party that there were many issues of vital importance to the islands coming before the Scottish Parliament over coming weeks. He said,
"My colleagues Rhoda Grant, David Stewart and I will be involved in a range of issues of importance to the islands, for example, Rhoda Grant is already busy ensuring the SNP do not accept the recommendation to reduce the health boardís funding dramatically, following new proposals to re-distribute cash between health authorities and she is active in securing the long term future of the air service to Barra.
David Stewart will be taking an active part in probing the SNP on their delayed plans to introduce road equivalent tariff and in the major Parliamentary inquiry into Island ferry services in Scotland.
I will be continuing to pursue the Crown Estate while they are under close scrutiny for their failings and I will be taking an active part in the Rural Affairs and Environment Committee inquiry into river and coastal flooding with a view to radically changing the current practises in managing and alleviating flooding.
Given the experience in the islands over recent years this has a vital and clear importance locally."
Commenting on the Labour Party meeting, he concluded, "The Labour Party in the islands is in good health, looking forward to holding the SNP to account locally for their failings and preparing to oust Angus Brendan Macneil at the general election quickly followed by Alasdair Allan at the next Scottish election.
"The SNP will pay a high price for promising so much, yet delivering so little."
Alasdair Morrison, Chair of the Labour Party locally said, "It is great to have such an experienced politician continuing to take a close interest in the issues that affect the islands and representing the views in Parliament that the SNP will never represent, and holding them to account for their broken promises.
"The Labour Party in the Islands is fighting back, gaining more strength with each passing day and preparing the ground to replace the minority nationalist government which already is letting the people of the islands down with every promise they break."
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