“Well, the SNP lost their “once in a generation” independence referendum, and the
dreaded unionist parties then worked together in the Calman Commission to set in
train the passing of powers over income tax rates and bands to the Scottish Parliament.”
He added: “But have the SNP used these powers to allow our public services to be
properly funded? No they have not.”
“When the Liberal Democrats and Labour called for a very modest increase in income
tax, the SNP showed their real “tartan Tory” colours and joined the Scottish Tories
in refusing to raise the extra cash our public services need.
“To make matters worse, the islands then got their very own extra austerity.
“Between 2010/11 and 2017/18 most councils suffered a funding cut of less than 10%.
“But Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, along with Shetland Islands Council, suffered a cut
of more than 20%.”
Mr Paterson said the “government will blame this on the COSLA distribution formula,
a formula set well over a decade ago and now well past its “use by” date.”
“As finance secretary, John Swinney apparently considered reviewing the distribution
formula, but instead turned away.
“Thus, when the new councillors sit down in Stornoway to decide how to deliver the
services the islands need, their challenge is made more difficult by the SNP siding
with the Tories on income tax rates and by their abject failure to update an out
of date funding formula.
“So, while the austerity the islands face may indeed have UK Tory austerity at its
core, it now comes with very large tartan knobs on, thanks to the SNP.”
SNP “inflict deepest cuts on Western Isles” says Lib Dems
30 May 2017
Scottish Liberal Democrat candidate James Paterson says island voters should “not
be taken in” by the SNP blaming austerity solely on the UK Tory government.
The Western Isles hopeful maintains the SNP have added to island austerity.
James Paterson said: “For years the SNP has used “Tory austerity” as the excuse for
their many failings in government, on the NHS, on education and much more.
“In 2014 we were told that an independent Scotland would have better public services
because Scots were prepared to pay more tax in return for good public services.