In an exchange of views in the Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee, this morning, the Cabinet Secretary told Mike Rumbles MSP that the fact that his department of government is the only one to see a cash terms cut from this year’s budget is not a matter for him but for the Finance Minister.
Rural Economy and Connectivity was the only Scottish Government department to see both a real and cash terms cut to its overall spending, from £2866 million to £2806 million. Equivalent to a 5% decrease in spending on rural affairs, transport and connectivity, in real terms.
North East MSP, Mike Rumbles said: “I’m shocked that the Cabinet Secretary has nothing to say about a significant cut to spending for our rural communities. The SNP’s priorities are quite clear, Rural Economy and Connectivity is the only department to see both a cash and real terms cut from this failing government.
“The Cabinet Secretary has a responsibility to fight these cuts and provide the investment desperately needed for our rural economy. His indifferent attitude in committee, this morning, beggars belief and pleading ignorance simply will not do.
“At best, Mr Ewing has decided to back his party’s cuts over the needs of rural communities, at worst he has colluded with the Finance Minister to deliver the largest cut for any Scottish Government department this year. In either case, we need a Minister that will stand up to his colleagues in the Scottish Government not roll over at the first sign of cuts.”
Notes for editors:
- View the full committee meeting at: https://www.scottishparliament.tv
- Mike Rumbles MSP question to the Cabinet Secretary begins at 10:21:10