The county’s Labour MP Fiona O’Donnell has dismissed the SNP’s claim that she and other Labour MPs voted for an ‘austerity budget’ this week as “simply untrue”.  

Speaking after the SNP made their criticisms, Ms O’Donnell said: “The SNP claim that Labour voted for an “austerity” budget last week is simply untrue. The vote was on balancing the current budget -; in other words day-to-day spending excluding capital investment.

“For all the Tory and SNP spin, the Charter is consistent with Labour’s long-held position on fixing our economy. Our approach to balancing the books is very different from the Tories. They have failed to balance the books as they promised, and have borrowed over £200 billion more than they planned. The plans outlined in the Autumn Statement -; which were not part of the Charter vote -; will mean even deeper spending cuts. Labour will take a fairer and more balanced approach to tackling the deficit. We will reverse the tax cut for millionaires and make different choices, like a Mansion Tax on properties over £2 million so we can pay for more nurses here in Scotland.

“Meanwhile, the SNP’s plan to bin the Barnett Formula would, according to the First Minister, cost Scotland £4 billion in spending cuts. I would really like to hear from the SNP’s candidate about where they propose to make those cuts. They also have a cheek questioning our spending plans when the SNP Scottish Government has been unable to spend all its money. Even a fraction of the £444 million underspend last year could have gone a long way in helping investment in our NHS and public services here in East Lothian.”

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