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Scottish Rate Resolution

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 4th March 2020.

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Photo of Willie Rennie Willie Rennie Liberal Democrat

If the Conservatives had their way on this, that would go even deeper, because they are proposing a tax cut on top of that, so we would not be able to compensate for those measures. Donald Cameron suggested that we will have to deal with the reconciliations in future years by having more tax cuts on top of that, but that would make the situation even worse. The argument does not stack up.

The Conservatives’ predictions were wrong, and that is why, in the budget negotiations, they did not make any proposals to cut the tax. They know that the price for public services would be heavy, with cuts that were even deeper than those that we have already seen to local government. That is why the Conservatives did not have the guts to propose any tax changes in the budget negotiations. Their predictions of cataclysmic events never came to fruition and they have been found out. Perhaps they will take a different approach to tax as we progress.

It is also worth reiterating our concerns about the capital overspends on certain projects across Scotland—the sick kids hospital, the ferries project, the Aberdeen western peripheral route, the Aberdeen hospitals and the Our Power energy company, with the £10 million loan. Those overspends are all deeply regrettable. I am sure that the cabinet secretary regrets them and hopes that she can get control of the projects and that her colleagues in the Cabinet will be a bit more responsible in their planning of such projects in future.