Dr Allan also commented on the “savage” cuts to the total budget available to Scotland by the UK Government.
Alasdair Allan commented:
“This budget seeks to help people in the Western Isles and throughout Scotland who are going through tough economic times. There are measures which are focused on the needs of the Western Isles, not least the emphasis on providing training and employment for young people, but also specifically support for the construction industry which is so important for the island economy. There is also extra money available for tackling fuel poverty, which is such a critical issue in the islands.
“In the Western Isles, as throughout Scotland, John Swinney, has been able to devote an increased share of Scotland’s budget to local authorities at the same time as maintaining the council tax freeze.
“These points are particularly important in a community where many pensioners have to pay a significant portion of their income in council tax and where a high proportion of the population work for the local authority.
“The budget does highlight, however, the immense pressure on our public services which is a result of savage cuts to the total budget made available to Scotland by the UK Government.
“John Swinney has had, in real terms, 11% less money to work with this year than last year, including an astonishing 33% cut to Scotland’s capital budget. All of that makes it more urgent than ever that Scotland controls its own economy and taxes in the future.”
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