28 December 2018

The SNP's failure to protect college budgets means over £1billion has been lost from further education since 2007.

New analysis from Scottish Labour reveals that college budgets were £739.6million in real terms when the SNP came to power in 2007.

Had the SNP government protected that budget, colleges would have seen an additional £1billion of investment over the past decade.

Instead funding has been slashed under the SNP, with 130,000 fewer students going to college since the SNP came to power.

Labour said a decade of cuts to further education was now being felt in the economy, and said any government serious about inclusive growth should be giving colleges the resources they need.

Labour Education spokesperson Iain Gray said:

“So much for education being the SNP’s top priority, years of austerity has cost our colleges over £1billion.

“This will have cut off opportunities for thousands of young people and people seeking to learn new skills later in life – the long term impact this has had, and will have, on our economy is simply disgraceful.

“Colleges should be ladders of opportunity for people, engaging with schools, universities and employers to deliver opportunity for all, they should be playing a key role in any government’s long term economic strategy.

“Instead they have become the whipping boy of successive education budgets.

“Labour would invest in education so everyone has the skills they need to get on in life.”

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