MSP wants Government to do more for his constituants
Rutherglen MSP James Kelly has called on the Scottish Government to do more for his constituents.
Speaking in the debate about the SNP’s programme of government for the next year, Mr Kelly highlighted major local issues and called on the Holyrood administration to use their power to make real change.
Speaking in the Scottish Parliament, James Kelly MSP said: “Although aspects of the programme are welcome, such as the proposed introduction of rent controls, the SNP Government’s approach undermines its ability to tackle the fundamental issues that we must address in Scottish communities.
“When MSPs look at the programme, they look at how it affects their constituency. The issue of GP shortages came up over the summer in my constituency.
“The figures show that, in 1999, there was a GP practice to cover every 5,080 patients. That has gone up to 5,668 patients, so the position has deteriorated by almost 600 patients. Why has that happened?
“When people look at the figures, they look for the evidence. It shows that investment in GP funding has been cut by £1 billion since 2006. There has also been a five per cent cut in medical student support. Therefore, it is no wonder that we have a GP shortage.
“I agree with much of what has been said about local government. Again, MSPs see the impact on their areas.
“South Lanarkshire Council has a £23 million shortfall in its budget. Cuts have been made to third sector grants, and the cost of community alarms has doubled.
“The Government’s allocation to South Lanarkshire Council over a three-year period has been reduced by £80 million.
“When it comes to the budget discussions in February, I invite MSPs who spend much of their time criticising the local council, to introduce a proposal to fund local government properly.
“I appeal to the Government that it is time to take responsibility.
“If it wants to deliver for Scotland, it should use the powers that are at its disposal to change people’s lives and to stand up for people throughout Scotland.”
A spokesperson for John Swinney said: “The reality is that this SNP Government has boosted the NHS workforce across Scotland by around 10,000 since Labour were last in charge of the health service in 2007 – and we have now increased the annual health budget to more than £12 billion.
“James Kelly is also guilty of appalling hypocrisy, given Labour’s failure to properly stand up to Tory cuts at Westminster, which has resulted in Scotland’s overall budget being slashed.”
Calls MSP James Kelly has called on the Scottish Government to do more for his constituents