War of words on budget

Tom Harris
Tom Harris

Glasgow south MP Tom Harris has accused Glasgow Cathcart MSP James Dornan of having “a particularly anti-English agenda”.

The war of words between the pair flared when SNP man Mr Dornan urged Labour’s Mr Harris to “reconsider his position and support Scotland’s continuing campaign to control its own affairs”.

James Dornan

James Dornan

Speaking in the Scottish Parliament following the budget announcement, the local MSP said: “This budget is bad news for Scotland and bad news for middle and low income households in my constituency — especially pensioners who will now see their already low incomes squeezed even further.

“Given these attacks on a huge number of our constituents, I challenge local Mr Harris to explain why he believes that Tory cuts are better for our constituents than independence.

“The government taxes the rich less so the poor can pay more, hammers drivers at the pumps with sky high fuel prices, has done nothing to create jobs and grow the economy, and penalises those who are out of work because of the recession.

“Is Tom Harris really saying that he believes this is better than the people of Scotland controlling their own finances and making these decisions for themselves”?

However MP Tom Harris maintains he wants “the best interests” of his constituents.

He told The Extra: “Remaining part of the UK is in all our interests. It’s completely dishonest for any SNP MSP to advocate separation because of this budget.

“Let’s remember that when Labour were in government, the SNP were every bit as critical of us.

“It’s time the SNP stopped pretending that separation from the rest of our nation would be a panacea for the problems facing Scotland.

“James Dornan has a particularly anti-English agenda: he accused me last year of wanting Scotland to be part of a Greater England, which betrays how he really feels about our fellow UK citizens”.

Meanwhile, following the budget where chancellor George Osborne announced a freeze on tax allowances for pensioners, Glasgow city council leader Gordon Matheson revealed a permanent introduction of the winter warmth dividend, a £100 bonus to every 80 year old in Glasgow to help them heat their homes through winter.

Applications are available from the council website, Glasgow benefits offices, or from 287 7961. The form must be submitted by March 31.