Thursday, 17 January 2008

Such excitement

I can hardly contain myself, I stayed up all night reading the report, did you?
What do you mean "What Report?" The report, the tome, the epoch-breaker, the Finance Committee's on the Scottish Budget, of course.

What larks, what excitements and what wonderfulness abounds! An absolutely spiffing and spot-on budget says the Finance Committee. Other fascinating information is what Labour wanted to cut from the Budget (Annexe A):

£20 million from the Roads Improvements Budget
£60 million from the Capital Works Budget
£10 million from Routine and Winter Maintenance
£10 million from Police Support Services
£5 million from Police Information and Communications
£75 million from Water Support for Borrowing (this fund is for improving water supplies)
£12.5 million from the Health Information Budget
£20 million from the former Efficiency and Reform Fund (that's right - a fund that no longer exists, but they want £20 million out of it)
£33 million from the Local Government Resource Grants

That's £245.5 million in cuts Labour wanted to make.
In addition, they wanted to cut the Mental Health Fund, the Violence Against Women Fund, the Children’s Services – Women’s Aid Fund, the Supporting People Fund and the Homelessness Task Force Fund from councils and to take the Strategic Waste Fund and Flood Prevention and Coast Protection Grant away from councils.
It's now official that Labour MSPs are as daft as Edinburgh's Labour councillors who thought they should sell off the buildings the council owned to make up for the big hole in Edinburgh's revenue budget left by the Labour council when they got turfed out of office in May.

I can exclusively reveal that Labour politicians are daft!

That's not all folks! Labour and Lib Dem MPs and most Conservative MPs voted in the London Parliament to rob more than £1 billion from the Lottery money that normally gets distributed to good causes. Scotland's share of that £1 billion plus would have been around £184 million.

Just to be clear about this, this is the kind of project that the Big Lottery Fund has financed recently in Scotland, the kind of project whose funding has just been stolen to pay for London's Olympics:

1. Harmony - bringing some cheer to lonely pensioners in the Borders
2. Gorbals Recycles - a scheme to provide employment, training and volunteering in the Gorbals
3. ENABLE Scotland - helping young people with learning disabilities in Angus
4. Moray Carers Project - to bring some succour and support to carers in Moray
5. Greyfriars Community Project - there to support " 500 of the most marginalised and vulnerable people in Edinburgh"
6. Fife Survivors and Users Forum TODAY - supports people with mental health problems
7. The Myatt Project - provides support to people with a disability in Glasgow
8. Getting Better Together - to help young people with social disadvantages, including poverty.
9. Parkinson's Self Help Group - to support people suffering Parkinson's disease
10. Melville Housing Association Limited - helping homeless people
These are the kind of projects which will lose out thanks to London Labour Ministers deciding to rob the lottery for the London Olympics, and they were supported by Labour's Scottish MPs, including:

Mark Lazarowicz; Alistair Darling; Douglas Alexander; Nigel Griffiths; Des Browne; and Jim Devine as well as Lib Dems like John Barrett; Willie Rennie; and Alistair Carmichael.

To think that Wendy Alexander had the cheek to say that Labour stood up for the poor, the weak and the dispossessed. I hope they are all hanging their heads in shame.

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