A game of political point scoring

Paul Wheelhouse
Paul Wheelhouse

The political gloves are off and we are entering the Scottish Government election period.

Squaring up to each other in the Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire constituency is current MSP John Lamont (Con) and South of Scotland MSP Paul Wheelhouse (SNP) who is contesting it.

John Lamont

John Lamont

Mr Wheelhouse has challenged Mr Lamont Lamont on the “hypocrisy” of his party’s “posturing against tax rises while proposing tax rises on household budgets”. Mr Lamont accuses the SNP Government of “slashing” Scottish Borders Council’s budget settlement.

Mr Wheelhouse says the Tories election materials talks about “opposing tax rises for Scots”, while planning to introduce student tuitions fees and re-introduce tax on prescription charges.

Mr Wheelhouse said: “It’s staggering that voters around the country are receiving leaflets promising that John Lamont will oppose tax rises in the same week as one of his own council groups proposes an eye-watering 18% rise in Council Tax (in Moray.

“In contrast the SNP is delivering for people in Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire with a council tax freeze, abolition of prescription charges and a commitment to keep education free of charge.

However, Mr Lamont attacked the SNP Government for “slashing” Scottish Borders Council’s budget settlement saying: “For years, the finance secretary has portrayed himself as a prisoner of Westminster austerity, but the reality is that he has £400 million more to spend next year.

“The SNP Government has chosen to slash council budgets across Scotland and Scottish Borders Council will have to deal with one of the largest decreases.

“I am disappointed that the SNP does not appear to prioritise frontline services.”