Yesterday’s plan from the Scottish Liberal Democrats to resell Scottish Water’s debt to fund a one-off set of spending plans is pure fantasy, Greens have said.
The move would see additional bonds sold to refinance an existing £2.75bn debt, and even if the Treasury decided not to reclaim the income, the outcome would see yet another public sector institution handed over to the markets.
Patrick Harvie said:
“This is fantasy island economics from the Lib Dems. You can’t build a sustainable future for Scottish public services by handing them over to loan sharks and doubling down on the debt. It’s the exact same financial illiteracy which sent the whole economy down the plughole not so long ago.
“Even Margaret Thatcher never managed to flog off Scottish Water, and this daft idea simply won’t wash. Tavish Scott’s campaign has been floundering for weeks now, but today it is officially dead in the water.”
Mr Harvie’s statement came as Greens published figures showing that the party’s offer of free membership to disillusioned Lib Dem members has been downloaded 800 times in just six days, almost once every ten minutes night and day.
Another surge was expected yesterday as the Lib Dems launched a manifesto which makes no mention of their decision to put the Conservatives into power at Westminster, their decision to treble tuition fees, their u-turn on nuclear power, or their support for the cuts to public services in Scotland.
Commenting on the figures, Patrick Harvie said:
“There are a lot of disillusioned Lib Dems out there, appalled at the decisions they’ve taken on fees, on cuts to public services, on nuclear power and on Royal Mail privatisation. If the polls are to be believed, Scotland has now seen right through them, and we have had an extraordinary response to our offer to Lib Dem members to join the Greens for free. More than eight hundred people have downloaded the form from our website in just six days.
“Everyone in Scotland knows what Lib Dem manifestos mean – absolutely nothing. They make empty promises on the environment, and then back deepwater oil drilling, unsustainable new motorways and bungs to the aviation industry. This is a manifesto that would literally hand over the scrutiny of business over to business itself, while privatising and cutting public services, the very same model which led to the collapse of the banks.”