Davidson has nowhere to hide and must apologise
Tue, 09/10/2012 – 15:03
Ruth Davidson has ‘nowhere to hide’ and must apologise for her ‘catastrophic error of judgement’, the SNP has said, after the Party published fresh data from SPICe which demonstrated that Scotland is not the nation of spongers which the Tory leader has tried to portray.
The SNP asked the Scottish Parliament Information Centre to rerun the Tories’ analysis – flawed as it was – for the rest of the UK.
The results showed that, even by Ms Davidson’s misleading standards, the percentage of ‘net contributors’ in Scotland was almost identical to the rest of the UK.
There was fresh embarrassment this afternoon for Ms Davidson after Tory grandee Lord Forsyth – one of her key backers in her leadership election – described her presentation of the figures as ‘unfortunate’.
Commenting, SNP MSP Jamie Hepburn – Deputy Convener of the Scottish Parliament’s Welfare Reform Committee – said:
“This really has been a catastrophic error of judgement from Ruth Davidson. She deliberately chose to fiddle the figures in a way that talks down Scotland, but now she has nowhere to hide.
“What she didn’t tell the Tory faithful down in Birmingham was that the figures she published for Scotland are actually comparable with the rest of the UK. Quite why she chose to conceal this fact – which she knew wouldn’t get her the cheap headline she was after – is only something she can explain.
“But it is her insult to pensioners which is the worst of all. They have paid thousands of pounds in taxes throughout their working lives, but Ruth Davidson believes they haven’t made a net contribution to Scotland. No wonder the Tories were so keen to introduce a Granny Tax.
“If Ms Davidson wants to have a serious debate about the role of the public sector in Scotland, then let’s have it. But let’s start with the facts, and let’s not start by insulting pensioners who have contributed through their taxes all of their lives.
“When even prominent backers such as Lord Forsyth are distancing themselves from her, it really is time for Ms Davidson to hold up her hands and admit she has got this dreadfully wrong, and apologise for her insult to Scotland.”