Wednesday, 17 November 2010


News release Immediate release 17/11/10

Highlands and Islands SNP MSP Rob Gibson has warned that unless Scotland gets full powers over it's finances then the country can look forward to a decade of decline.

Mr Gibson was speaking following the budget, which was caused after the Conservative/Lib Dem UK Government cut 1.3 billion from the Scottish block grant meaning that the SNP Scottish Government had to adjust the Scottish Budget accordingly.

Some of the commitments brought forward by John Swinney are;

The Budget of NHS Highland is to be increased by £15 million next year and there has been a commitment to finishing the Migdale hospital in Bonar Bridge. The Council tax freeze will be in place for a further year; HIAL airports including Wick will receive increased funding. The continuation of RET for the Western Isles ferry routes. There is also to be a increase in long distance services to and from Inverness south on the
Highland mainline from 9 to 11 trains per day.

HIE will not be scrapped.

Commenting on the budget Mr Gibson said…

"Two thirds off these cuts to the Scottish block grant comes from Labour and a further third from the Conservatives and Liberals. John Swinney's job is to deal with the hand dealt to him and Scotland."

"Until the Scottish Parliament gets full controls over the powers over the financial levers then the country can look forward to many more cuts, as it is relent on the UK Government to get its money. It is no exaggeration to say that the UK will deal cut upon cut to Scotland for the next ten years. It is not a situation that anyone should be happy with."

"I am pleased that despite the UK imposed cuts that John Swinney has managed to safe guard the NHS budget and council tax freeze."


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