Moray MP Douglas Ross says “serious questions” must be asked as to why SNP MSP Richard Lochhead ignored concerns raised by local SNP councillor Shona Morrison in relation to the Scottish Government’s Budget.
Douglas’ call comes after Moray’s SNP MSP voted to ensure the SNP-Green government’s budget for the 2023/24 financial year passed at Stage One in the Scottish Parliament.
That was despite Fochabers-Lhanbryde Councillor Shona Morrison, who is also the president of council umbrella body COSLA warning that the budget in its current form would see council services either significantly reduced, cut or stopped altogether.
Douglas says that the SNP-Green government have imposed “savage cuts” on councils including Moray for years and that Richard Lochhead should have listened to his SNP colleague, and stood up for local jobs and services in Moray.
Douglas added that any further cuts to local government would be “absolutely devastating” and hit vulnerable people hardest in Moray, while they are already grappling with a cost-of-living crisis.
He urged Richard Lochhead to stand up for Moray and call for John Swinney to give local authorities a fair funding deal ahead of the final budget settlement.
Moray MP Douglas Ross said:
“Serious questions have to be asked as to why Richard Lochhead voted for the SNP-Green government budget this week.
“He blatantly ignored warnings from his local SNP colleague Shona Morrison about what this budget will mean in reality for local councils like Moray.
“She warned that it could mean services being reduced, cut or stopped altogether.
“That would be absolutely devastating for communities in Moray yet our SNP MSP simply voted along party lines as he always does, rather than stand up for local jobs and local services.
“The SNP-Green government have imposed savage cuts on councils like Moray for years.
“Any further cuts would be absolutely devastating for our area and hit vulnerable people particularly hard, who are already grappling with the effects of a global cost-of-living crisis.
“Richard Lochhead must show he cares about Moray, even if that means voting against his government.
“I have done that in the past and it is what our constituents expect.
“Ahead of this Budget being finalised, he should be lobbying John Swinney to guarantee that councils like Moray will get a fair funding deal.
“That is what the Scottish Conservatives have repeatedly called for, yet it is our councils who continue to bear the brunt of the SNP’s cuts.”