14 Nov 2012


MSP Hugh Henry blasted an SNP minister for describing the axing of 80,000 college places as “adequate.”
Mr Henry, Scottish Labour’s Education Secretary, hit out after Finance Secretary John Swinney made the referral during a television interview on Newsnight Scotland.

Speaking from his office in Paisley, Mr Henry, said: “To describe cutting 80,000 students in further education as “adequate” when Scotland is seeing record high levels of youth unemployment, is not just worrying, it’s also insulting to those thousands of young Scots who only wish to have an education.

Mr Henry, who is also MSP for Renfrewshire South, added: “Frankly I find it quite scary that of all the people who should be expressing this view it is the man in charge of the Scottish economy. He should meet the young people I meet on a regular basis who are desperate to get a place on a college course and now can’t, and he should tell them to their face that their situation is “adequate”; especially as he will be asking for their votes in two years.

“Mr Swinney should correct the record and apologise immediately to these students for the complacent view he has shown to the hopes and aspirations of tens of thousands of young Scots. And the next Scottish budget needs to reverse the damaging cuts which this SNP Government is inflicting on Scotland’s colleges.”

Newsnight Scotland can be viewed here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b01ncpy5/Newsnight_Scotland_09_10_2012/