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Alex Salmond


18 August 2011

Search site for keywords: Scottish National Party - SNP - Tax - Scotland - Edinburgh - Cuts - News International - Socialist Party Scotland - Alex Salmond

Nothing Left about the Scottish National Party

Snouts in the trough

SNP government ministers have made huge windfalls by selling their second homes, after the mortgage interest was paid for by the public purse. John Swinney, who as Finance Secretary has slashed public spending and imposed wage cuts on public sector workers in Scotland, cashed in by making a 75,000 profit when he sold his Edinburgh residence for 430,000.

Swinney was able to claim back the mortgage interest on his second home in Edinburgh through parliamentary allowances, and did so to the tune of 60,000 over eight years.

None of this has been paid back. He now stands to pocket 57,000 after tax deductions after selling the four bedroom house.

And all this on top of his 97,000 salary as a government minister.

He's not the only one either. Alex Neil, then the SNP's secretary for housing and homelessness, profited by a staggering 105,000 after tax by selling his Edinburgh flat.

Neil had claimed 87,000 from the "Edinburgh Accommodation Allowance" scheme that allows MSPs to bill the parliament for housing costs.

The SNP government has already made 1.3 billion in cuts to public spending in Scotland this year and plans a further 2 billion cuts over the next three years.

It's public sector workers, public services and working class communities who will pay the price of this savage austerity while the same government ministers are making huge cash windfalls at our expense.

Salmond's love affair with Murdoch

Alex Salmond has been forced to reveal that he met News International journalists and executives 25 times over the last four years. Salmond exchanged letters with Murdoch after they met in New York in 2007 just a few months after the SNP formed the government.

"I enjoyed our conversation and, as ever, found your views both insightful and stimulating" he wrote.

Salmond also invited Murdoch to the Ryder Cup in the US as part of the Scottish delegation, offering to pay for the obviously cash-strapped billionaire's accommodation and tickets.

His love affair with the arch-reactionary Murdoch even went as far as inviting him to the Gathering which was part of the Year of Homecoming [a gathering of people with Scottish ancestry in Edinburgh].

As First Minister, Salmond, also alongside Murdoch, opened News International's printing operation at Eurocentral in 2007. Coincidently of course the anti-working class Scottish Sun has been a firm supporter of the SNP government and gave the SNP full support during the 2011 election campaign.

No wonder Salmond has been so silent over the phone hacking scandal. By your friends you shall be known.

Cutting tax for the rich

The SNP have unveiled their proposals for control over corporation tax to be devolved to the Scottish parliament. A call which was accompanied by an SNP pledge to reverse the planned cuts to corporation tax by the Con-Dem coalition and increase the tax on big business in Scotland? Aye right! John Swinney instead wants to slash the tax that the multinationals pay to the level of the Irish republic - 12.5%.

He claims: "Control over corporation tax would enable us to boost investment, bringing jobs to communities across Scotland, grow the economy and take the right decisions for Scotland".

The right decisions for the millionaires and billionaires maybe, but not for the vast majority of the working class facing cuts in pay, benefits and public services - many of them imposed by the SNP government.

All these examples show that the SNP government is only really interested in the rich and powerful. The need to build a real mass socialist and pro-working class political alternative to the main parties of capitalism in Scotland is all the more urgent.

Philip Stott, Socialist Party Scotland

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Article dated 18 August 2011

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