Thursday, September 11, 2008

Ministerial untruth

I don't usually accuse people of telling 'untruths' - I think I've only levelled that accusation once before ... see here

... then please read here, which explains why I felt so annoyed at the time of the first post!

Sadly, I do feel that the Cabinet Secretary for Finance has today joined the dubious company of the First Minister in the telling of untruths :-(

... just look at what he says here, - I'll quote the relevant section: "Some of the decisions they have taken have been to invest in a very comprehensive tram system – investment that could clearly have been invested in schools."

This is quite simply not true and I'm sure the Cabinet Secretary knows it, and I would humbly suggest he should really refrain from transferring the 'political banter' of the street into the debating chamber of the legislative Parliament of Scotland. Such antics demean us all.

The Parliamentary Bills for tramline 1 and tramline 2 were approved long before May 2007 and finance was thereafter allocated and budgeted for. The SNP tried (fair enough) to over-turn that allocation but failed.

To suggest that failure led directly to a lack of capital for schools in Edinburgh is fatuous in the extreme. Dare one suggest it may have more to do with the failure of the fabled SFT??

... if you're still in doubt, here's a little reminder of how well our Government is doing in the school building stakes:
  • S3W-9305 - George Foulkes (Lothians) (Lab) (Date Lodged Thursday, January 31, 2008): To ask the Scottish Executive how many contracts for the building of new schools have been signed in each local authority since May 2007.
  • Answered by Maureen Watt (Friday, February 29, 2008): Local authorities procure new schools through more than one procurement route. Seven local authorities have signed school PPP contracts since May 2007, allowing building work to progress on 45 schools, almost all new builds. Those authorities, with their shares of 45 schools, are Aberdeen City (10), Dumfries and Galloway (10), East Dunbartonshire (6), Falkirk (4), Perth and Kinross (9), West Dunbartonshire (4) and West Lothian (2). With the exception of Public Private Partnerships (PPP), the Scottish Government does not hold comprehensive information about local authorities'' school building contracts.
... which was followed up thus:
So, there you have it - NOT ONE new school building contract initiated across the whole of Scotland in the last 18-months :-(

... all the fault of the trams - really??

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