Labour will protect the education budget in real terms over the next five years

31st January 2016

Today, Kezia Dugdale has pledged that Scottish Labour will protect education funding in real terms over the next Parliament.

Here is what the SNP are going to do:

The SNP Government are proposing cuts of hundreds of millions of pounds from the day to day spending of local councils, with devastating consequences for local budgets for schools and children’s services.

The SNP have refused to protect spending on schools and education, despite having done so for the NHS and police budgets.

The SNP also plan to cut the Education and Lifelong Learning budget by more than £130 million (4.4%) in real terms next year.

Here's what we will do:

Under Scottish Labour’s plan schools, colleges, universities and student support are all guaranteed real terms protection.

Kezia will set out the different choices Labour would make in a major speech in Edinburgh on Tuesday.

Under the SNP Government:

There are 4,000 fewer teachers.

152,000 fewer students going to college.

6,000 children leave primary school in Scotland unable to read properly.

Children from richer families are twice as likely to go to university as those from poorer homes.

Student debt is up and grants have been slashed.

Here's what Kezia has said:

“The single most important investment we can make in the future of our country is in our people. Protecting the spending for our schools, colleges and universities is the way to cut the gap between the richest and the rest and give our young people the skills they need to access the jobs of tomorrow.

“Nicola Sturgeon has said that education is her top priority – but her budget doesn’t reflect that. She is proposing hundreds of millions of pounds worth of cuts to local services, which will hammer education budgets up and down Scotland.

“The SNP Government in Edinburgh have pledged to protect health and police budgets, but not the spending on our schools for young people.

“Funding education has to be a national priority again. Cuts made by the SNP to local education funding over the last nine years are already hurting our children’s schools.

“Cuts to education undermine the economic potential of our nation. The choice facing voters in the election is now clear - we can use the new powers to invest in our young people with Labour, or keep cutting school budgets with the SNP.

“Scottish politics is changing. It’s no longer good enough to say you are against cuts but do nothing to change things.”