7 February 2017
Responding to Alasdair Allan’s claims that extra money will be available for schools in the Western Isles, Highlands and Islands Labour MSP, Rhoda Grant said,
“The money being given directly to schools, in no way, makes up for the extensive cuts facing local councils, following yesterday’s budget.
"The Scottish Parliament Information Centre has confirmed that local government still faces a £169 million cut in the current year.
"This means that local government has seen cuts totalling £1.5 billion since 2011.
"The Scottish Government’s auditors report that education has already been cut in real terms and that teacher numbers are at a 10-year low.
"The price of those cuts is that achievement is falling, the chances our children get are being limited and their horizons are being narrowed.
"This money is by-passing local councils and going directly to school.
"It is, we are told, an attempt to close the attainment gap between the richest and the rest.
"This is being done against the background of extensive cuts to public services, including education which, following the budget, we can expect to continue.
"This money makes no attempt to close the financial gap between rich and poor - which we know is growing.
"We will not close the gap between rich and poor through education itself and the continued cuts to services make it considerably harder for local authorities to do this either."