OPINION POLL PUTS TRIDENT’S FINANCIAL FOLLY FIRMLY INTO FOCUS
As Chancellor Alistair Darling confirms Labour public spending cuts in a speech in Cardiff, the SNP seized on an opinion poll published today showing massive opposition to the Labour government wasting cash on a new generation of nuclear weapons, and called on the Chancellor to focus cuts on ‘white elephant’ projects like Trident and ID cards – and rule out real terms cuts by the Labour government in Scottish spending.
The ComRes poll for The Independent showed that the public overwhelmingly wants the government to scrap the Trident nuclear missile system and believes spending on health and education should be protected and rise each year.
Commenting SNP Treasury spokesperson Stewart Hosie MP said:
“The SNP have a simple suggestion for Alistair Darling to cut his spending – abandon plans to spend £25 billion on a nuclear missile system we do not want or need and the vast majority do not want.
“With the debate about Westminster government cuts raging, this ComRes poll lays bare the incoherence of spending plans that include Trident.
“The position of Labour and the Tories in arguing for Trident is untenable in these difficult financial times.
“Labour must focus its cuts on unnecessary and unaffordable white elephant projects like Trident and ID cards – and in the teeth of recession Labour must rule-out slashing front-line services like health and education, and capital investment.
“The Prime Minister and Chancellor attack the Tories for planning cuts in UK spending and yet Labour are doing the exact same in Scotland. The Budget confirmed Labour’s plans for the first real terms cut in Scottish spending since the dark days of the Tory government in the 1990’s. It will mean a real terms cut in Scottish spending, and is the wrong choice in the middle of the recession.
“The SNP want the required savings to be made by the UK Government abandoning its foolhardy £25 billion plan to replace the Trident nuclear missile, saving up to £100 billion over its lifetime. And we are also calling on Labour to completely drop their proposals to spend billions on unwanted and unnecessary ID cards.
“The UK Government’s catastrophic financial failure underlines the need for Scotland to have responsibility to run our own affairs – with the ability to take the decisions needed to reflate our economy, contribute to recovery, and overcome the Downing Street downturn.”