“Don’t tell me what you value. Show me your budget and I’ll tell you what you value.”

This Joe Biden quote was used by Cllr Martin Rooney, Labour Leader in West Dunbartonshire, when moving their budget proposals last month.

Before you read on, do not panic. None of these Labour proposals were successful and an SNP budget was approved with no service cuts for an unprecedented fourth year in a row; but in the middle of a cost of living crisis, let’s see what Labour values, or rather doesn’t.

Labour’s budget included: a £1.9million cut to Children’s Social Work Services, with no review or planning, decimating our ability to provide residential and care services.

A £49k cut from food banks and increased charges for elderly and disabled day-care users.

They also included unspecified service cuts, with £200k savings delegated to council managers, with no elected politicians having a say in what services would be cut to achieve this goal.

They talked about reducing litter, while at the same time increasing charges for special waste uplifts, which would have caused increased fly-tipping – but possibly most revealing and worst of all was their increased target for Council Tax collection.

The only way to increase collection of Council Tax is to increase the use of debt collectors against low-income families. Bad enough at the best of times, but inexcusable while the cost of basic essentials continues to rise, and folk are having to feed their weans with the help of foodbanks Labour are trying to defund.

Labour’s budget was so bad that not even the Tories could vote for it. Think on that – it was too harsh for the party who brought you Universal Credit cuts and people dying because they can’t get the basic social security they need.

By comparison, our SNP no cuts budget included freezing day-care charges, a cost of living fund to help folk who are struggling, £3.4m to help people into jobs, education and training, doubling the school clothing grant to £300, £2m extra to accelerate road and pavement upgrades and repairs, with a focus on making our pavements and kerb drops pushchair, wheelchair and walker-friendly, more money for flood prevention works, support for the taxi trade and so much more.

“Don’t tell me what you value. Show me your budget and I’ll tell you what you value.”
I value everyone in our communities.