No Christmas cards from Inverclyde

January 12th, 2011

The tills are ringing in the stores and in the supermarkets now the Christmas countdown is on.

Credit cards and store cards will be getting a bashing as shoppers make sure they have the perfect gift for each of their friends and family, and can all enjoy their festive break.

Well, in the Scottish Parliament, it was also spend, spend, spend for the SNP Government, even in these straightened times.

And for those of us trying to manage our budgets in the run up to Christmas, the figures are mind-boggling.

More than £60 billion pledged by the Scottish Government to be spent on infrastructure projects over the next 25 years.

And in the short-term, an additional £433 million from the UK Government is to be spent here in Scotland in the current financial year.

Inverclyde’s share? A paltry £1.5 million.

That is what Cabinet Secretary Alex Neil handed back to this community, just a fraction of the missing millions he cut from our budget earlier this year.

Crucially, where we once had certainty over future funding so they we could implement long-term plans, we now have uncertainty and vague promises about lottery

I met with the minister this week, making the case for regeneration investment in Inverclyde, so we can attract jobs, build new homes and create new leisure facilities.

I illustrated our long-term vision for the area and argued why he should invest in a community like ours, which is being disproportionately impacted by the cuts.

His response was less than adequate given the windfall his government received from Westminster, and their grand plans for the rest of the country.

Given his betrayal of our ambitious regeneration plans, the Cabinet Secretary shouldn’t anticipate too many Christmas cards from Inverclyde this year.