MP tells of fears over college cuts

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A LOTHIANS MSP has expressed fears over cuts to college budgets.

Labour’s Neil Findlay warned that cutting budgets could mean fewer young people in West Lothian will go on to further education.

It follows Finance Secretary John Swinney’s announcement that college funds will be slashed by at least 20 per cent.

Mr Findlay said: “Last year, colleges across Scotland, including West Lothian College, accepted a ten per cent cut.

“They did that while promising to maintain places.

“But make no mistake, this was a difficult cut to absorb, with job losses occurring as a result.

“At the very least a flat cash deal for West Lothian College was necessary for the college to fulfil their vital role, not least in helping alleviate youth unemployment and providing opportunities for our young people.

“But now the government spending plans, amounting to a terrible 25 per cent real-term cut, could mean more staff being lost, fewer student places, and/or risk diminishing the depth and quality of education on offer.”