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Don't bank on Labour school loans, SNP warns taxpayers

Labour is adopting English solutions to Scottish problems, the SNP says. The party also warns that bank loans to pay for a Pounds 500 million backlog of school repairs will cost Scottish taxpayers dear.

The SNP claims the plans will cost taxpayers more in higher loan charges.

In an extension of the recent war of words between the two parties, Janet Law, the SNP's spokeswoman education, said: "Labour's education agenda in England is closely mirroring that of the Tories and this trend threatens Scottish education too. It is becoming increasingly evident that Scottish education must be protected from the creeping problems of the English system. Labour has failed to show how they will improve the situation. Mr Blunkett's deal with the banks threatens to cost the taxpayer dear in higher loan charges."

Mrs Law, who heads Perth and Kinross's education committee, accused Labour authorities of "disturbing trends", with some ready to pilot nursery vouchers and others introducing charges.

"The massive commitment to education demonstrated by the turnout for the rally against cuts in funding in Edinburgh earlier this year must not be allowed to falter," she said. "Only an independent Scottish parliament with real control over our own resources can turn that commitment into reality."

Mrs Law is shortly to reveal details of her party's education "budget" in an attempt to counter the charge of making uncosted commitments.

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