Where will LibDem cuts come from?

SNP MSP Alex Neil today (Saturday) called on Tavish Scott to explain how he would pay for more investment in renewable energy and skills whilst also wanting to cut £800 million from the Scottish budget with his tax cuts plan.

Mr Neil, a member of the Scottish Parliament's Finance Committee, said;

"Tavish Scott appears to be practicing the economics of Merlin. He wants to make cuts in public spending of £800 million whilst magically spending more money on energy and skills.

"The question he has to answer is just where this money will come from since he plans such deep cuts?

"Since he doesn't call for more spending in schools and hospitals it must also be concluded that they are in the firing line for Tavish's cuts.

"This plan was already exposed as ill-thought out when he underestimated the cost by £400 million.

"There has been no thought as to how much this would cost never mind what public service cuts would have to be made from Scotland's budget.

"In contrast the SNP has put forward sensible measures to put cash in people's pockets with a freeze on the unfair council tax and cuts in rates for small businesses.

"Tavish's plans would mean the end of programmes to lift people out of fuel poverty, no more funding for affordable housing, an end to essential transport improvements that will boost the economy, no more police on our streets and falling investment in health services."

Notes:

What would Tavish cut?

The following are the initiatives being currently funded from the Scottish budget and which would be under threat from cuts of between £760-800 million.

* Central Heating Scheme - £46m
* Fighting superbugs in hospitals - £18m a year
* Phasing out perscription charges - £30m a year
* Affordable Housing Investment Programme - £387m a year
* Concessionary fares - £187.5m a year
* Flood protection - £40m a year
* Recycling Initiatives - £50m a year
* Drug programmes - £30m a year
* Alcohol programmes - £30m a year
* Bus Services Operators Grant - £57m a year
* 1000 more police - £94m
* Borders Rail Link - £115m

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