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Scottish Labour Leader Kezia Dugdale has announced an amendment to the budget motion at Holyrood today in a bid to stop cuts on local services. She calls instead for more investment and blames any lack of funds on the SNP who refused to introduce a 50p top rate of tax for the richest few earning more than £150,000 a year, despite previously campaigning for one.

She claims that public services in Scotland face a double whammy of a £170million cut to local government as well as a steep rise in business rates.

She pointed out that public services, like schools and care of the elderly, face cuts as a result of a budget deal between the SNP and the Greens, and that the NHS, nurseries and universities could be faced with a multi-million pound business rates bill.

Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale said: “Public services in Scotland face a budget double whammy from the SNP.

“Under the SNP-Green deal, local services like schools and care of the elderly face another £170million worth of cuts – taking the total to £1.5billion since 2011. These cuts will harm everybody, but hurt the poorest most. Teachers will have fewer resources to help our young people and carers looking after older people will have less time to do their job.

“The SNP and the Greens should end their hypocrisy by backing Labour’s plan to stops the cuts and invest in public services instead.

“The SNP’s shambolic u-turn on business rates for a specific group of firms is welcome, but our public services are facing massive bills too. We know that NHS chiefs warned the SNP last year that the health service could face a £30million bill as a result of the revaluation. And we also know that our universities could be hit with multi-million pound increases. At a time when maternity units are facing closure and services are being scaled back, it would be criminal for the SNP to do nothing.”