Just weeks after they campaigned against Scotland having control over the full range of financial powers Falkirk Council Labour Group were demanding the Scottish Government implement one of the measures retained by Westminster, the implementation of the Financial Transaction Tax (FTT).
In a motion moved by council leader, Craig Martin, the Labour member sought the proceeds of the implementation of the tax, know as the “Robin Hood Tax be directed to local government, a proposal the Scottish Government are powerless to enact as the FTT can only be effective if delivered across Europe with the agreement of national governments and to meet the terms of the Labour motion would then have to be devolved to the Scottish Parliament who fund local government.
The Labour motion was classed as “an empty gesture” when it was pointed out by SNP members that the Tories, whom Councillor Martin was proud to campaign alongside, had already ruled out the introduction of the tax claiming it would damage the City of London.
In his opening remarks the leader of the Labour / Tory coalition claimed that Scotland would soon have new powers and this may include the FTT following the publication of the Smith Report despite the fact the Smith Report specifically rules out such a proposal having been blocked by the Conservative Party for the reasons above.
Marin was also forced to admit that neither he nor his group made a submission to the Smith Commission and clearly hadn’t read the recommendations contained within Lord Smith’s report…
The SNP amendment pointed out that the UK was the 4th most unequal society in the developed world and this would only be remedied if the Scottish Parliament had control over the taxation and welfare policies and budgets with the alternative being leaving these in the hands of the Tories.
This provoked the reaction from Craig Martin junior to claim Labour were about improving people’s lives whereby all the SNP sought was power before it was pointed out that it was only the achievement of power that allowed the Labour motion to be implemented.
Overall the irony of Labour members claiming that the SNP Government use the powers Labour blocked was either completely lost on the Labour members or this was just another cynical lie to deceive the people, either way Labour have been exposed, again, as a party prepared to say anything in order to appear in touch with ordinary people. However, their vote against the SNP amendment which called on the UK parties to honour the promises they made to the people during the referendum tells a different story.