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Alternative Budget takes stand against austerity

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ANTI-CUTS campaigners are calling on MSPs, council leaders and councillors to invest in public services and communities in the Scottish Budget this week.

People’s Assembly Scotland has published its own spending manifesto that takes a stand against austerity’s affects on health and social care, education and public-sector workers’ wages.

The group points out that many MSPs and councillors were elected on anti-austerity manifestos, saying: “Words without the actions to back them up is nothing but posturing and political opportunism of the worst kind.”

The People’s Budget makes the case for pre-devolution debt to be cancelled, as the Treasury was prepared to do in 2001, so that the money can be invested in local services.

The Unite union estimates the total debt of all 32 Scottish councils at around £12.1 billion, which does not include sums owed under the widely criticised private finance initiative.

People’s Assembly Scotland steering committee secretary Keith Stoddart told the Star: “Social care is in crisis. It affects us all and we need a service that is fit for purpose.

“We can only do that by paying decent wages. Privatisation is not in anyone's interests.”

The manifesto also backs Unite's campaign against the blacklisting of workers.

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