Thursday, 27 January 2011

Supermarket Levy Would Have Helped Fund Vital Local Services - Stevenson

SNP candidate for the new Banffshire & Buchan Coast constituency Stewart Stevenson MSP has expressed his disappointment at Conservative, Lib Dem and Labour MSPs on the Scottish Parliament’s Local Government Committee voting against plans for a levy on the big supermarkets to help fund public services.

The proposal would have seen £30 million raised by the new levy in order to support the delivery of critical services and keep the tax burden lower for those who can least afford it. As a measure of the impact on the big supermarkets, Tesco’s share of the proposed levy would have been roughly equivalent to the takings through their checkouts during the course of one and three-quarter hours.

Commenting, Mr Stevenson said:

“Labour, Lib Dem and Tory have cut £30 million from the budget for Scotland's public services adding to their London counterparts’ cuts of £1.3 billion.

“This vote tells people across Scotland the irresponsible priorities of opposition parties with Labour supporting the Tories as parties happy to increase VAT on families, raise council tax on households but refusing to tax big businesses to help Scotland’s economy.

“It is disappointing but not surprising that these parties preferred to vote against an SNP Government that is working for Scotland than to do the right thing for public spending and public services.

“It is now incumbent on Labour, Lib Dem and Tory to tell us which £30 million of spending they want to remove from the Scottish budget or how they will fill the gap they have created.”
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