THE comment by British Labour in Scotland’s current leader, Richard Leonard, during the launch of their alternative budget proposals is very revealing (Labour Budget dismissed as 'fantasy figures', The National, January 30).

The idea of a Scottish Parliament that could reflect the will of the Scottish people was obviously not a priority, and a parliament that would do things differently and introduce policies that were important to Scotland didn’t seem to come into the reckoning.

Apparently, according to Mr Leonard, Labour saw only saw the Scottish Parliament as a bulwark against Tory austerity. So back in 1997, when the legislation was being discussed for our parliament, Labour already knew Tory austerity was coming and our parliament was meant to protect us from it, even though Labour – through the Smith Commission – ensured that the main economic and social powers were retained by the Westminster Government.

By contrast the SNP Scottish Government has pushed innovative policies like the baby box, championed world-leading climate change targets and abolished tuition fees.

Of course, if the Labour Party in Scotland was so concerned with protecting Scotland from the Tories, they shouldn’t have campaigned alongside them in the independence referendum in 2014!

Councillor Kenny MacLaren