William Eichler 02 February 2017

Scotland’s finance minister should quit over ‘budget of doom’

Scottish councils have told Holyrood the finance chief should quit if MSPs reject what they describe as his ‘budget of doom’.

The leader of the Scottish Local Government Partnership (SLGP) has accused SNP finance chief Derek Mackay of trying to ‘rip off’ millions of people with a package which includes local authority cuts of £327m.

Speaking ahead of the Scottish government's Budget Bill, SLGP convenor Cllr Jenny Laing told MSPs: ‘Derek Mackay's plans to rip off Scotland's councils and the people we represent is now slowly unravelling.

‘I don't think either he or the First Minister were prepared for the backlash but voters are now better informed than ever and can see for themselves the way their town halls have been hammered year in, year out.’

‘If MSPs vote with their consciences and stand up for their constituents then this package of chronic cuts will be rejected and the finance secretary must then do the honourable thing and fall on his sword,’ she added.

The SLGP, which includes Aberdeen, Glasgow, Renfrewshire and South Lanarkshire Councils, represents 1.3 million Scots who live in areas which generate almost half of the country's economic output.

Cllr Laing said Mr Mackay’s budget had ‘zero credibility’ and challenged the first minister to fire the finance secretary.

‘I challenge Nicola Sturgeon to get rid of her finance secretary, banish his budget of doom and demonstrate to Scots voters that she possesses the values and vision to take the nation forward and allow us to compete with all the other great countries of the world.’

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