Tom Arthur MSP has slammed Anas Sarwar’s shameful hypocrisy after Labour stood in the way of Renfrewshire South’s council workers receiving a 5% pay rise.

During a COSLA meeting on Friday, SNP councillors proposed a 5% pay offer for employees, which was backed by Scottish Government funding of £140m per year. However, Labour sided with the Tories to try and block the move and delay a pay offer even further.

This follows previous moves by Labour to back Tory proposals for a 3.5% pay offer, despite the SNP offer of 5% being on the table.

Commenting, SNP MSP Tom Arthur said:

“It is utterly shameful that Labour once again sided with the Tories and failed to back proposals to offer council workers in Renfrewshire South and across Scotland the fair pay deal they deserve.

“Anas Sarwar was just this week urging the Scottish Government to act on its ‘moral duty’ on the cost of living crisis. Sarwar has completely failed in his own moral duty to ensure that hard-working employees are offered a fair pay rise during this Tory made cost of living crisis.

“Not only did Labour reject the proposals for a 5% increase, but they stood side-by-side with the architects of the cost of living crisis, the Tories, to try and deny workers that rise. Labour were given two opportunities to back SNP proposals for a 5% rise, but twice decided to vote against it and stand side-by-side with the Tories instead.

“It is a welcome breakthrough that the 5% offer will now be offered to council workers thanks to the work of SNP councillors to get the proposals approved.

“This is part of a pattern we have seen since the local elections. Before them Anas Sarwar was saying no deals and asking voters not to reward the ‘toxic, out of touch, corrupt and disgusting’ Tories. When all the votes were counted his party has bent over backwards to do deals with the Tories and now joins them in trying to undercut council staff pay.

“Labour are continuing their shift to the right and as they do, they slip further into irrelevance and have nothing positive to offer the people of Scotland. The only way to build a fairer, more equal country is by becoming independent.”

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