As SNP's independence obsession erodes trust in public service, Queen Elizabeth offers a shining example to all – Ian Murray MP

“This Budget was a sermon from the high priest of an austerity cult.” The condemnation from the SNP when George Osborne inflicted deep spending cuts on public services in his 2015 budget.

Queen Elizabeth is a beacon of integrity and selflessness (Picture: Dominic Lipinski/WPA pool/Getty Images)
Queen Elizabeth is a beacon of integrity and selflessness (Picture: Dominic Lipinski/WPA pool/Getty Images)

So what, I wonder, does the SNP make of the spending review from Kate Forbes, the high priestess of an austerity cult?

Just when you thought the nationalists couldn’t inflict any more damage on communities, along they come with a wrecking ball.

Cuts to council services – which are already slashed to the bone. Cuts to policing, despite their manifesto promise to maintain funding, which the Scottish Police Federation branded a “bad day for the public, a good one for criminals”.

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And cuts to higher education, just to remind the public that Nicola Sturgeon’s high-profile pledge to prioritise education has been well and truly abandoned.

Huge numbers of public servants now face an uncertain future, with job losses down the line, even though Ms Forbes has refused to say if it will be up to the 30,000 she hinted at.

Par for the course, the SNP has tried to blame the UK Government for the dire situation. But it is the Scottish Government which has put Scotland on course for a £3.5 billion gap between spending and income with revenue from taxes less than it had predicted.

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The nationalists’ economic mismanagement has led to Scots' wages growing more slowly than the rest of the UK, and that results in lower revenues, with a direct impact on how much can be spent on public services.

To compound the crisis, ministers are slashing support for economic development as our economy falls off a cliff and slips further behind an already sluggish UK economy.

And to cap it all, they are putting aside £20 million for an unwanted second referendum. The SNP’s priorities in a nutshell.

When public services face such financial restraint like this, and job losses are aplenty, it is always the poorest communities which are hit hardest.

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This will only make the cost-of-living crisis more painful for households in Edinburgh and across Scotland.

Scotland deserves better than managed decline from this tired government who really only care about one thing and the rest can just wither.

It is little wonder that trust in public service has fallen so sharply amid their mismanagement.

Fortunately, the coming days provide an opportunity to remind ourselves of the importance of public service as we celebrate Her Majesty the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

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Throughout everything, for more than 70 years she has remained dedicated to public duty and practiced her timeless values of integrity and selflessness.

Her commitment has earned her the respect and love of people here in Edinburgh, across the country, and around world.

Not everyone will be able to join in with the festivities this weekend, but I hope people have a chance to spend some time with their loved ones.

This Sunday also marks national Thank You Day, when we say thank you to people in our lives: from family and friends to health workers, carers and community heroes.

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So to everyone, from her Majesty the Queen on her Platinum Jubilee to those who keep us safe and do so much for our local communities and all in public service, thank you.

Ian Murray is Labour MP for Edinburgh South