MSP hits out over oil fund and council report

MSP Jackie Baillie has reacted to yesterday’s critical Audit Scotland report into Argyll and Bute Council by accusing the SNP of ‘fighting like ferrets in a sack’.

And in an unusual move Liberal Democrat MP Alan Reid has joined her in warning that the SNP’s plan for an ‘oil fund’ post-independence would mean tax rises or spending cuts.

Jackie said the Audit Scotland report was ‘damning’.

“People in Argyll and Bute have been truly let down by the previous SNP administration’s inability to deliver strong and stable leadership. The SNP members have spent their time fighting like ferrets in a sack,” said the Labour MSP for Dumbarton.

“It’s clear from the report that the recent four-month period of political turmoil has had a damaging effect on relationships within the council , putting public services at risk.

“It’s now time for the new administration to step up to the challenge and prove to residents that it can offer stability and focus on delivering council services.”

She also highlighted a confidential report about the oil find by the Scottish Government’s own economic advisers released under freedom of information laws.

“SNP Ministers fought for a year to keep the report secret, and only published it after the Information Commissioner ordered them to do so,” she said.

“The SNP seem to think that telling us everything will be alright on the night is enough, but their own report makes clear that our taxes would have to rise, our public services be cut or we’d have to borrow more to pay for the SNP’s oil funds.”

Alan Reid, MP for Argyll and Bute, said: “An independent Scotland would start off with a huge budget deficit.

“Everybody knows that if you’re heavily in debt you use any money you do have to pay off the loan, otherwise you end up paying out more money in interest payments to the banks in the long run.

“Alex Salmond’s barmy idea is pay day loan economics. He’s ignoring the advice of his own economic experts.”