Stirling’s Labour politicians have reacted angrily to the news in Tuesday’s papers that the SNP Government pressured their own Poverty Adviser into deleting criticism of SNP policies that disproportionately affect low income families.
SNP Government advisor Naomi Eisenstadt has admitted that she complied with some requests from officials to change the wording of her findings before they were released to the public last week, despite SNP claims that she is completely independent.
Jennifer Preston, Labour’s Candidate in the Stirling North ward says,
“It is appalling that the SNP want to censor a report that they commissioned that could help low income families. An SNP commissioned report that said that Local Authorities provide a range of vital services and these tend to be most used and most valued by households on low incomes. An SNP commissioned report that said any reduction in these services would be damaging for low income households and for the strength of some local communities. It is unbelievable that SNP politicians then went on to cut hundreds of millions of pounds from Local Authority budgets. It is flabbergasting how little regard the SNP have for people who don’t toe the party line and worse, how little regard they have for those people most affected by the cuts across the country and across Stirling, including those in Raploch, Cornton, Top of the Town and Causewayhead.”
Stirling Council Leader Johanna Boyd says,
“This is damning evidence that not only are SNP policies harming the most vulnerable in our communities, but that SNP politicians are trying to cover it up and keep the public from learning what their own appointed experts think. Stirling MSP Bruce Crawford needs to urgently clarify what he knew of this report prior to publication and if he thinks it is acceptable to censor expert opinion in this way. We’ve been saying for years that the SNP’s brutally unfair approach to Local Authority funding is hurting those who can least afford it and now even SNP appointed officials agree with us. When will the SNP stop trying to blame everybody else for the cuts to local services and start listening to the experts who say it is SNP policies that are the cause of the problem.”
The SNP Government Report, “Independent Advisor on Poverty and Inequality: Shifting the curve – a report for the First Minister” was published on 20th January and is available to view on the government website.