Tory tax proposals could mean cuts of up to £61.9 million in NHS Lanarkshire according to new Scottish Government analysis.
With the Scottish Parliament set to vote on Stage 1 of the budget this month, the Tories are proposing tax cuts for high earners that would leave a £500 million hole in the budget.
With health receiving the largest share of devolved spending, a £500 million fall in available spending would see the NHS in the firing line – and NHS Lanarkshire could lose up to £61.9 million
Commenting, SNP MSP Christina McKelvie said:
“Under the SNP, the NHS has record staffing and record funding – and the draft budget would see that funding increased.
“But this investment is only possible because of the decisions taken by the Scottish Government, with progressive policies seeing higher earnings paying slightly more to support public services.
“The Tory tax plans would blow a £500 million hole in our budget – and that’s on top of a decade of UK government austerity.
“That would risk valuable public services in South Lanarkshire, including the NHS – and would be equivalent to cutting 1482 nurses in the region – and the Tories should explain why they’d prefer to give a handout to millionaires than to fund our hospitals.”
Christina McKelvie appears before the Council of Europe.
New economic impact analysis by the Scottish Government has confirmed that the best way to protect the local economy and household incomes in Hamilton, Larkhall and Stonehouse is through Scotland remaining in the Single Market and Customs Union.
Failure by the Tory government to secure a Brexit deal would see Scotland take a £12.7 billion economic hit, equivalent to £2,300 per year for each person in throughout the South Lanarkshire constituency. The analysis also shows that a ‘Canada-type’ deal with the EU, with limited access to the Single Market, would still leave people £1,610 worse off per head.
Other key findings show that remaining in the Single Market could create new opportunities for the local economy throughout South Lanarkshire to flourish, and that continued freedom of movement is required to support economic growth. Figures show that EU citizens currently working in throughout Hamilton, Larkhall and Stonehouse currently contribute an average of £10,400 in tax revenues.
Commenting, the SNP MSP for Hamilton, Larkhall and Stonehouse, Christina McKelvie said:
“I am in no doubt that the best way to protect the economy and to protect jobs throughout my constituency is to ensure that Scotland remains within the European Single Market and Customs Union.
“This latest analysis by the Scottish Government shows just how important that is for people living in Hamilton, Larkhall and Stonehouse – who would be left £2,300 worse off in the result of a hard Brexit scenario that the Tories seem to be on course for.
“The Tories must be held to account for their intent on pursuing a damaging Brexit when the facts show just how harmful it will be for families living throughout my constituency.
“Labour’s position is becoming increasingly inexcusable. They must remove themselves from the fence and show that they are willing to stand up for Scotland’s interests by backing the SNP’s call to remain in the single market.
“People in Hamilton, Larkhall and Stonehouse voted decisively to remain in the European Union. We’re almost two years on from the vote and they UK government has failed to provide certainty for businesses and our public services which rely on free trade and free movement with the rest of the EU.
“The decisions taken over the coming months will be absolutely vital for jobs and the future of the local economy throughout my constituency. Failing to back Scotland’s continued place in Europe would have serious consequences and would be an absolute tragedy for future generations.”
Pictured L-R: Rhona McLeod, Chief Executive, Trust Housing Association, Christina McKelvie MSP, Hamilton, Larkhall, Stonehouse, Maureen Dowden, Director of Governance, Wheatley Group and Chair of Happy to Translate Advisory Group
Happy to Translate (HTT) held a very successful event on Thursday 21st December to launch their redesigned Toolkit and Website. The event, held at the prestigious Scottish Parliament and sponsored by Christina McKelvie, MSP was well attended by MSPs, HTT member organisations and members of local ethnic minority communities.
The Toolkit is used by members of Happy to Translate to communicate with customers who speak little or no English and has been redesigned to accommodate the multilingual tools available to download from the members’ website, a training DVD and promotional tools that help organisations advertise its membership to the public.
The website has been revamped with a fresh look and restructured to make sure new and current members get the best assistance possible. The public side of the website has the added benefit of a ‘quick quiz’, offering prospective members the chance to perform an equality health check on the accessibility of the information and services they provide.
Christina McKelvie MSP said: ‘I was delighted to be invited to sponsor the event to introduce the redesigned HTT Toolkit and website. Scotland is proud to be known as a country that welcomes individuals from across the globe. The Scottish Parliament is a member of HTT and recognises the importance of taking the lead in providing equal access to information and services.’
Rhona McLeod, Chief Executive of Trust Housing Association, who manage Happy to Translate, said: ‘The team worked hard this year to produce the redesigned toolkit and website in response to members’ changing needs in the way they engage with their customers. It’s this dynamic and proactive thinking that earned HTT the title of UK’s Most Innovative EDI Initiative of the Year 2017, from the National Centre for Diversity.’