Friday, September 21, 2012

SNP Minister branded ‘Osborne in a kilt’ after disastrous draft budget is condemned; right wing SNP Government out of touch with ordinary people

Dear All

The wheels really are falling off the right wing SNP Government, yesterday saw the draft budget announced; straight away it has been condemned by opposition parties and the unions.

John Swinney has been branded “George Osborne in a kilt” after his proposals for a one per cent deal on wages in the public sector are exactly the same as the UK government’s plans.

Now, both right wing governments are following the same agenda.

With such a miserable deal on the table, the prospect of a wave of public-sector strikes in Scotland draws nearer as unions gear up to fight what many people describe as the ‘Tartan Tories’.

Didn’t George Laird, thee George Laird highlight before this happened the lurch to the right by the Scottish National Party leadership?

George Laird right again!

Thousands of workers in the public sector have had a two year pay freeze and now they are getting a below-inflation pay rise.

The reason for this, effecting thousands of workers is that the SNP Government hasn’t started public sector reform.

Everyone is off chasing the independence dream, desks abandoned as Salmond’s paid Nats want to try and get their place in history.

Civil servants and NHS staff now have to accept another year of real-terms pay cuts.

SNP Ministers are quick to pass the blame onto Westminster citing the tight spending squeeze on the Scottish Government’s £28 billion departmental budgets.

The reality is that it is their political decisions and not Westminster that is responsible, they aren’t doing public sector reform, they are just managing decline.

For the SNP who want to see people get and march for independence, people will be marching, as the cuts will be a focal point for an anti-austerity march set to take place in Glasgow by the unions next month.

Presumably a judgment call will be made whether Alex Salmond will march with the workers given he has publicly booed at events.

The SNP Government is flash point for a third year of falling salaries for many public sector staff. As well as pay freezes, people aren’t getting replaced in the public sector putting more pressure on staff with increased workloads.

The SNP Government ‘no redundancies’ policy doesn’t mean those who leave will get their post filled by someone else!

Lynn Henderson, the PCS union’s Scottish secretary said:

“It is George Osborne in a kilt. The 1 per cent cap on pay increases announced by Mr Swinney is the same 1 per cent cap announced by George Osborne with a tartan cover over it.

“This is woefully inadequate to redress the lost income and hardship our members have suffered after two years of a pay freeze. It is time for Mr Swinney to pay up and time for the Scottish Parliament to utilise the powers it has to invest in the economy and protect public services, not rob Peter to pay Paul.”

Scottish Trades Union Congress general secretary Grahame Smith said:

“The STUC has consistently acknowledged that the UK coalition government’s dangerously irresponsible economic strategy has placed the Scottish Government in a very difficult position and that Mr Swinney has endeavoured throughout the crisis to do what he can to stimulate the Scottish economy. However, it is disappointing that Mr Swinney has followed George Osborne’s public sector pay policy almost to the letter. A third year of significant real-terms wage cuts for hundreds of thousands of workers puts Mr Swinney’s attempts at stimulus into perspective.”

Just recently I said that David Cameron was Alex Salmond’s boss, George Laird right again.

Mike Kirby, Unison’s Scottish secretary, said:

“Unless local government is funded to pay even this limited increase, there is no guarantee the largest group of public sector workers, in local government, will receive an increase.”

On the prospect of strikes, Unison’s Scottish organiser, Dave Watson, said:

“The local government unions will now consult and then come to a judgment about what they are going to do.”

Chris Keates, general secretary of the NASUWT in Scotland, said:

“It is deeply disappointing that the Scottish Government has chosen to follow the coalition’s flawed economic policies by imposing another year of pay freeze on public sector workers. Teachers and other public servants are being made to foot the bill for the economic downturn at a time when their pensions are also being attacked and the cost of living is accelerating.”

If the unions decide to run with a ‘Winter of Discontent’ then this will seriously hinder the independence vote.

Yesterday saw John Swinney put back money he took out of budgets previously, but as many point out, this isn’t new money but a partial return of money already taken.

As you can see by the look on John Swinney and Nicola Sturgeon faces, they have nothing to smile about, things are collapsing around their ears, the government is paralysed; there is no radical vision and no blueprint or roadmap to get out of the hole.

They are just moving the deck chairs on the Titanic.

This is the road to Freedom?

I think not!

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University


Davie Tait said...

The SNP aren't finding 'new' money, they are simply taking money away from others. Last budget they screwed the college sector out of £70 million, Swinney put back £17 million yesterday. Their political decisions are ruining Scotland George. Wake up and see sense, the rest of us did along time ago.

Anonymous said...

Dear George,

Not just ordinary people, the SNP is completely out of touch with reality!

... as prize numpty Christine Grahame proves in this interview.