SNP and Tories are so mired in their own crises, they're ignoring the country's many problems – Ian Murray
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I write this after a Police Scotland raid on the home of Nicola Sturgeon and her husband, ex-SNP CEO Peter Murrell. Since then, SNP party HQ has been searched by police; a £110,000 campervan was seized in connection with the first two developments; Murrell was questioned by police; the party’s president and interim CEO admitted this is the biggest crisis they’ve ever faced; SNP MP Angus MacNeil has called for a rerun of the leadership contest; and Humza Yousaf has admitted the SNP’s auditors quit six months ago and no replacements were appointed.
Have you got all that? As chaos reigns in the parties of government, local people are facing the twin crises of the cost of living and the NHS emergency.
Statistics published on Tuesday show that a shocking 1,326 people waited over 12 hours to be seen in A&E in only one week. Not to forget the thousands of Scots left languishing on waiting lists, and staying in hospital beds unnecessarily.
With the architect of our NHS crisis now residing in Bute House and his administration plagued with a myriad of crises, it’s an inauspicious start to his career as First Minister. Not to forget the ferries scandal, although it has been easy to lose sight of this issue against the backdrop of unrelenting disasters in almost every area.
The SNP’s neglect of our island communities and their vital ferry services is coming home to roost with a broken-down timetable that leaves islanders with only a once-in-a-week lifeline to the mainland. That is simply unacceptable.
But while Humza Yousaf and his colleagues fail at running the country, ordinary people across Scotland continue to lose out. My own constituency postbag is bursting with Edinburgh residents worried about how they will pay their bills. Families and working people are watching their pay packets shrinking, taxes increasing, loved ones unable to access healthcare, and local services collapsing.
Unfortunately, under the Tories, it’s the same old story. Last week’s gambling lobbying scandal involving Blackpool MP Scott Benton again proved the point that both the SNP and the Tories are mired in sleaze and are far removed from the priorities of ordinary people.
This comes as Labour has calculated that a person starting out their career today on average salary would have to work until the year 2423 before they’d see a penny from Jeremy Hunt’s £1bn Budget pensions tax cut. And there were reports this week that when Rishi Sunak was Chancellor he wasted £56bn that he refuses to try and get back. After the Tories crashed the economy, the resulting rise in interest rates and economic instability has left working people picking up the pieces while the rich get tax breaks.
With local elections in England fast approaching, a potential by-election in Rutherglen and a general election edging closer, the choice is between two governments enmeshed in corruption, that have left people without vital services and out of pocket during a cost-of-living crisis or a Labour government that would put working people first. Edinburgh deserves better.
Ian Murray is Labour MP for Edinburgh South