ANDY KERR CHALLENGED OVER £3 BILLION GAFFE

Linda Fabiani has challenged Labour Finance Spokesman, Andy Kerr, over statements made in an election communication to the voters of East Kilbride.

A newspaper, circulated as part of Labour’s campaign, contains a number of misleading statements and undeliverable promises to voters.

These include:

– A statement that hospital treatment for the victims of knife crime costs £3 billion a year.  This is a quarter of the NHS Scotland budget and about 10% of the total expenditure of the Scottish Government.

– A ‘cast-iron guarantee’ that patients suspected of having cancer will see a specialist within two weeks.

– A guaranteed apprenticeship for ‘every young person who wants one’.

– A statement that Scottish Government decisions are responsible for the collapse in new house building (apparently, uniquely in Scotland, it is not the fault of the banking crisis)

Linda is demanding that the paper be withdrawn and pulped and corrections published in future Labour leaflets going out in areas where the newspaper has already been circulated.

David McAnsh, Linda’s election agent has written to Andy Kerr and to the Returning Officer on Linda’s behalf. See here for a copy of David’s Letter to Andy Kerr and the Returning Officer

Linda said:

“Andy Kerr’s leaflet contains a series of gross errors and misrepresentations and is literally not worth the paper it’s printed on.

“According to this leaflet, the cost per day of an NHS bed is over £850,000, yet the real cost is less than £600.

“In the leaflet, items are picked out of Labour’s manifesto and presented in a way that cynically misleads vulnerable people, including those concerned about cancer and young people chasing their first job.

“Andy Kerr can’t give a ‘cast-iron guarantee’ that patients will see a cancer specialist within two weeks. When he was Health Minister he couldn’t even meet  a target for 95% of patients referred with suspected cancer to start treatment within 62 days of referral.

“The leaflet misleads young people and their parents by suggesting that Labour will guarantee an apprenticeship for all who want one, even those who are not considered qualified by employers. Like his cancer commitment, this is undeliverable.

“With this quality of a Labour campaign, no wonder people are turning to the SNP as the party that has the experience, the team, and the vision to take Scotland forward over the next five years.”

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