Claim Labour misled public on voluntary sector funding

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THE SNP in West Lothian has accused the Labour administration of misleading the public over a campaign pledge to boost voluntary sector funding.

In the run-up to the May council elections, the Labour manifesto promised “an immediate ten per cent increase in the voluntary sector budget”.

But after Labour became the largest party in West Lothian and formed a minority administration it increased the council’s voluntary sector spending of more than £20 million by just £76,000, with an extra £158,000 allocated to extend existing wage subsidy schemes. The £76,000 equates to ten per cent of the budget for organisations that are in receipt of grants and small grant funds, not the total spending on the voluntary sector.

Councillor Frank Anderson, deputy leader of the SNP group, said that was not made clear in the manifesto.“It was a big con,” he said.

Labour group geader Councillor John McGinty said: “At the election Labour said we would give more money to voluntary organisations, which we have done. This is in contrast to the SNP, who cut the money for voluntary organisations by 5.1 per cent in 2011/12 and froze it this year.”