The LibDems endorsing of Tory cuts are a betrayal of their Scottish voters according to SNP MSP Joe Fitzpatrick.
Mr Fitzpatrick, a member of the Scottish Parliament’s Finance Committee, launched a withering attack on the Conservative’s coalition partners after comments made by the LibDem Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander (pictured), described planned cuts as “common sense”, “progressive” and “civilised”.
Mr Fitzpatrick pointed to campaign pledges (1) made by LibDems as evidence of the betrayal and claimed that the ‘U’ turns underlined how far the LibDems had gone in betraying their voters.
The SNP MSP pointed out that before the May election this year LibDem leader Nick Clegg and Vince Cable had been strongly against such an early cuts programme. Nick Clegg had described the then Tory plans as “economic masochism” and added that “If anyone had to rely on our support, and we were involved in government, of course we would say no.”
Commenting Mr FitzPatrick said:
“In opposition the LibDems were vocal in opposing the type of cuts Danny Alexander is now driving through. Cuts that are damaging and which Scotland never voted for.
“Danny Alexander’s comments just show how far the LibDems have gone in betraying their voters. If it is not tuition fees, the VAT rise then it is supporting the Tory cuts which they call masochistic.
“His astonishing comments just show how the LibDems now enthusiastically support the Tories; that they are the same as the Tories and they are doing the Tories’ dirty work.”
Scotland is facing a £1.3 billion cut to the block grant next year as the ConDem coalition seek to address the deficit left behind by the last Labour government. The cuts come at a time when Scotland is in fact in fiscal surplus and the parlous state of the UK’s economy has led to calls for Scotland to seek full fiscal autonomy.