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Sunday, 20 March 2011

Ed Miliband's insult to the voters of Scotland

Yesterday was Scottish Labours conference, if you missed it, it's understandable as media coverage was lower than that of other Scottish Parties because Labour chose to have their Autumn one covered in more detail.

Maybe Ed Miliband realised that with hardly anyone watching, he could say whatever he wanted?

So, despite the fact that in their thirteen years of government, of which Ed Miliband was part, Labour sold off Britain's gold at a twenty year low price, offered Britain's pensioners a miserly and insulting 75p increase, failed to link the basic state pension to earnings, oversaw a £10 million tax credit bungle, insulted people by doubling the basic rate of tax from 10p to 20p, let bankers run riot, oversaw £3 billion of benefits being overpaid and took us into an illegal war in Iraq.

They also left no money in Liam Byrne MP's own words and left us saddled with paying interest payments of £120 million per day on their debts!

So, what were Ed Milibands words of wisdom to the voters of Scotland?

Hitting out at the Tory-Lib Dem coalition, Mr Miliband told the conference:
"I have never wanted this to be a five-year government because of the damage it will do.

"And when people ask me, 'what are you going to do to reverse things in 2015', I say 'we can't wait until then'.

"So let's use these elections to give us the best chance of stopping it going to the full term."
Sorry?  Mr Miliband, I hate to tell you this, but it appears your advisers forgot to mention that the Scottish Parliament elections on May 5th (or May 6th in Dunfermline according to Labour) have nothing to do with removing the coalition government as voted for in last years election.

The Scottish Parliament election is about voting for your local and regional MSPs (use both of your votes) and who then forms the Scottish Government.

Don't be so patronising and rude to the Scottish voters a d insult them that they should make this a vote on the coalition because you lost last year.  Isn't it time you stopped blaming the voters for voting you and your party out of office?

I realise you blamed the previous Tory government for most of the thirteen years you were in power, but they rejected you and your party last May.  Get over it.

As red Ed mentioned the coalition, let me just mention four of the achievements made by the new coalition government because of the Liberal Democrats being part of it (in no particular order) in just ten months;

1. The link between pensions and earnings, scrapped by Margaret Thatcher, was restored in the Coalition’s first budget. The annual increase in the state pension will be protected by a ‘triple lock’ - the rise will be in line with earnings, prices or a 2.5% increase, whichever is the greater.

2. We have scrapped the ID card programme. The ID card database was publicly destroyed on 11th February 2011.

3. In June’s emergency budget we increased the rate of Capital Gains Tax to 28% for higher rate taxpayers while keeping it at 18% for basic rate taxpayers. This will raise an extra £1bn and end the disgraceful situation of bankers paying a lower rate of tax than their cleaners.

4. In June’s emergency budget, we raised the tax threshold by £1,000, lifting 880,000 low earners out of tax completely (from this April). It will increase each year of the Coalition Government until it reaches £10,000, which will lift an additional 3 million people out of tax altogether.

In Scotland Tavish Scott fought for local Post Offices to receive over £1million support, last year 50 of Scotland's Post Offices developed their business thanks to the Post Office diversification funds, a further £1 million has gone into the fund for this year.

Other concessions made to the Liberal Democrats in the Scottish Parliament budget include:

· Additional funding for FE bursaries of £15 million, spread across 2010-2011-12 to provide additional student support for current student numbers.

· Additional funding of £8 million in 2011-12 that would support an additional 1,200 college places and associated student support.

· 1,500 additional Modern Apprenticeships, including 500 places for the renewables sector, at a cost of £2 million

· 2,000 additional flexible training opportunities

That is what the the voters of Scotland are looking for, solutions for Scotland, not a power grab as Ed Miliband has suggested.

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