Fail­ure to take de­ci­sions has real con­se­quences

Strathearn Herald - - HERALD VIEWS -

Scot­land. Whilst these choices may be made by a Con­ser­va­tive govern­ment at West­min­ster, the SNP at Holy­rood do have the power to stand up for Scot­land and choose a dif­fer­ent path.

That is why Labour put the tax de­bate front and cen­tre in Holy­rood.

As MSPs we can use the pow­ers at our dis­posal to pro­tect key pub­lic ser­vices.

Yet, whilst the SNP refuse to use the tax pow­ers of the Scot­tish Par­lia­ment, pub­lic ser­vices con­tinue to buckle un­der failed Tory aus­ter­ity.

That is why we have been con­sis­tently call­ing hon­est de­bate around tax.

How­ever, that de­bate can­not be served by a Govern­ment that talks left and gov­erns right.

Choices have con­se­quences. Labour’s plans would have raised more than £1 bil­lion in the pre­vi­ous two bud­gets.

This could have al­lowed us to stop the cuts and in­vest in pub­lic ser­vices.

We could have seen an in­crease in child ben­e­fits, putting more money into the pock­ets of work­ing fam­i­lies and lift­ing tens of thou­sands of chil­dren out of poverty. Last week in the de­bat­ing cham­ber, the SNP faced that choice again.

Vote for tax cuts for the rich­est and pub­lic spend­ing cuts for the rest along­side the Con­ser­va­tives or use the pow­ers of the Par­lia­ment to pro­tect pub­lic ser­vices and in­vest in work­ers and fam­i­lies with Labour.

SNP politi­cians across Scot­land sat on their hands, ab­stained from the vote and once again failed to make a de­ci­sion.

Scot­land de­serves bet­ter than a govern­ment that doesn’t know whether it thinks taxes should go up or down.

Yet the SNP no longer have a ma­jor­ity in the Scot­tish Par­lia­ment and Par­lia­ment en­dorsed our ba­sic prin­ci­ples on tax and pub­lic spend­ing.

The SNP should now an­swer the call of par­lia­ment as we move head into the next Scot­tish bud­get and fi­nally de­cide who they stand with.

The re­al­ity is that elected politi­cians can’t, or at least shouldn’t, shirk mak­ing tough de­ci­sions. We are elected to make de­ci­sions on law and or­der, on our health and ed­u­ca­tion sys­tems and – in­creas­ingly in Scot­land – on tax­a­tion

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