Scottish Labour leader, Johann Lamont, has backed Trident renewal
while establishing a 'Cuts Commission'
Scottish news: Labour leader backs Trident while "slashing" public services
The Scottish National Party (SNP) has seized on confirmation from Scottish Labour that its leadership favours retaining the Trident nuclear weapons system while accusing the party of advocating "slashing" public services.
News of the Labour leader's, Johann Lamont, position was reportedly revealed in response to an enquiry by BBC Scotland's Derek Bateman programme.
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The SNP has expressed outrage at Ms Lamont's commitment to renewing Trident at a cost of hundreds of millions of pounds whilst she simultaneously intends to hold a Cuts Commission tasked with considering the abolition of universal benefits and cutting key services such as prescriptions, higher education, apprenticeships and the council tax freeze.
Recently, Scotland's Labour leader argued that Scots live in a "something for nothing country" in a political lurch to the right which is viewed by many commentators as broadly in keeping with Ed Miliband's strategy to defeat the Tories at the next general election.
To defend her move on benefit and service cuts, Ms Lamont has argued that by sticking to non means-tested benefits the SNP government is not freeing up money to target the most needy.
The SNP has now struck back by pointing to the services which Scots could have instead of Trident, claiming that the annual £163mn Scots currently pay towards Trident could instead be spent on 3,880 nurses, 4,527 teachers, 18 hospitals or on other social priorities. The party argues that the situation will deteriorate once Trident replacement costs of a further £84mn are added every year for the next 15 years.
Commenting, SNP MSP Bill Kidd who is a Co-President of the Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament (PNND), said: "Johann Lamont's Cuts Commission is attacking universal benefits and her remarks about Scots living in a 'something for nothing country' while backing Trident shows just how out of touch Labour really is.
"Labour lost its way on social justice a long time ago but this commitment to spend billions on WMDs while wanting to cut vital services is a new low for a party that once prided itself on representing hard working people.”
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