Failure to take decisions has real consequences
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 for.an 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