Council cuts are SNP retaliation for electing Tories, MP claims

A Scottish Conservative has accused the SNP of slashing north east council budgets in retaliation for the region electing Tory MPs and MSPs.

Aberdeen South MP Ross Thomson criticised the SNP for the “political choice” to cut local authorities’ budgets, claiming that the region’s four councils “will see their general funding cut by £100,000 a day”.

Speaking at the party’s annual conference in Aberdeen, Mr Thomson said the cuts were “because the north east had the audacity to recognise the value of electing Scottish Conservatives to local government, Holyrood and Westminster, rejecting the failed SNP policies”.

He continued: “The Scottish Government is now getting more revenue from the UK Government than it has had in the past.

“Its budget has consistently grown and what we are seeing is in terms of priorities – the SNP are prioritising spending in other ways and want to cut budgets to local government.

“That’s a political choice of theirs and it has consequences.”

He argued that the SNP were “blinded by their obsession by independence” and using the region as a “cash cow to fund the central belt”.

He added: “When it comes to public services, Nicola Sturgeon’s Government has dealt cut after cut.

“That’s cuts to teacher numbers and catastrophic reforms that have limited opportunities and choice for young people up and down our country.

“A whole generation of young people are being failed by the SNP Government in Edinburgh.”

Commenting on the return of Ruth Davidson as leader of the party in Scotland, Mr Thomson said: “There’s a real sense of optimism because Ruth is coming back.

“We all look forward to her getting stuck into Nicola Sturgeon and holding her feet to the fire.”

The Scottish Government has been contacted for comment.

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