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2 September 2010

Banff & Buchan Hit By Tories Secret Budget Cuts

HIDDEN TAX HIKES HURT PUBLIC SERVICES

Banff & Buchan MSP Stewart Stevenson has hit out at the Tory-Lib Dem Coalition's imposition of a secret budget cut through increased VAT and National Insurance on public services.

In the election the Tories claimed they would scrap Labour’s tax on jobs and David Cameron told the SNP that Tory action on National Insurance would save the NHS money. Instead their failure to scrap the National Insurance rise and the increase in VAT to 20% will see NHS Grampian, Grampian Police, Aberdeenshire Council, the local Fire & Rescue service and other public bodies forking out millions in additional taxation costs.

The end product can only be a reduction in public services to cover the additional costs imposed by the Westminster Government.

The failure to scrap the National Insurance rise sees the Tories break one of their key election pledges and will leave not only public services but local business out of pocket.

Information on the cost to public services such as the NHS, Police and Fire Services of the tax hikes has been obtained through a series of Parliamentary Questions.

Commenting on the issue Stewart Stevenson MSP said:

“The Tories and Lib Dems are trying to secretly slash local budgets by clawing back millions in taxes to the Treasury from the North-east of Scotland alone. That is in addition to the budget cuts they intend to impose.

“This is the Tories' hidden tax hike. In the election the Tories promised to scrap Labour’s tax on jobs. In office they went back on that promise.

“National Insurance is to increase by 1% and Scotland’s public services will face a massive bill. The cost to our businesses could be even higher.

“Cutting the budget and increasing the taxes is a double whammy for the public sector. We are all well aware of the need to cut back on public expenditure but we cannot allow the public sector to be decimated while billions of pounds are wasted on new nuclear missiles.

“In Parliament the Prime Minister claimed he had saved Scotland’s NHS money, in fact he is sending the NHS a tax bill for tens of millions of pounds.

“In two months time we will get the settlement from the UK spending review – George Osborne has an opportunity to do what Labour wouldn’t and make sure public services already facing real budget cuts do not have to end up having money given to them with one hand and taken away with the other.”
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