Earlier this year I wrote that Glasgow’s SNP Council Administration was making our city’s residents pay for their failure from your early years to your golden years. This was in the aftermath of their budget proposals, passed with the assistance of their Green understudies, which removed Glasgow’s Affordable Warmth Dividend and hiked nursery fees for hard working parents across the city.
Unfortunately for pensioners in Glasgow, the SNP depriving them of £100 to help heat their homes during the winter in the middle of a health crisis was only one example of how this nationalist council has so utterly betrayed our elderly during their four years in office. This is not the kind of change older Glaswegians would have expected when in 2017 the SNP promised to “give Glasgow back to its people” and work to improve life chances and life choices for all of our citizens.
Those words now ring completely hollow in the aftermath of their sustained assault on the rights and privileges of elderly Glasgow residents who have paid into a system their whole lives only now to be treated with such disdain and neglect by their SNP Council. On top of scrapping the affordable warmth payment, the SNP in Glasgow have abolished free swimming for the over 60s, abandoned the assisted garden maintenance scheme, and promoted digital exclusion through their move to online only bulk uplift requests.
These weren’t just nice accessories; these policies were integral to maintaining the health and wellbeing of pensioners across the city as well as counteracting the damaging effects of social isolation and loneliness. It would seem none of those things matter to Glasgow’s SNP Councillors who are more concerned with ingratiating themselves with the party elites in Edinburgh than standing up for this city and demanding the funding necessary to stop these harmful changes.
While you might expect the SNP to be so obsessively partisan, it is damning that in many of these votes they were backed to the hilt by Glasgow Green and Labour Councillors. On decisions like free swimming and introducing a bulk uplift charge, only the Conservatives in Glasgow had the guts to stand up to the SNP and provide a genuine alternative to their failed policies.
If the SNP have managed to wreak so much hardship in only their first term of office, it is terrifying to think how the next five years would play out if they are handed a majority at next year’s council elections in Glasgow. There would be nothing to stand in the way of them taking a sledgehammer to the remaining entitlements that pensioners require to maintain a basic standard of living. Maybe, like their leader, they’ve simply taken their ‘eye off the ball’. This city needs change, and the SNP/ Green cosy establishment consensus is utterly failing to deliver it. Next year, it’s up to you to deliver your verdict.
Written by Cllr Thomas Kerr