NORTH Ayrshire Labour councillors blasted an “SNP-Tory backroom coalition” for halting their own plans for a “progressive budget”.

Labour Group leader Joe Cullinane said; “What we have seen today is the SNP administration move the Tory group’s budget.

“The SNP Leader had a choice - come and speak to the Labour Group and seek an agreement that would include some of our progressive proposals, or go to the Tories for a deal. They walked past the Labour Group room and went to the Tories, offering to ditch their own budget and adopt the Tory one for their support.

“When the meeting resumed, the Tory Group Leader even said it was their budget that was being proposed.

“The gloomy faces on the SNP benches told its own story. In less than 12 months they have gone from saying their priorities would be tackling poverty and climate change to proposing a Tory budget proposed by Tory Councillors who expressly say they oppose Labour’s plans to extend free school meals, tackle holiday hunger, deliver on Community Wealth Building and invest in green technology.

“It has caused embarrassment on the SNP benches as they claim the title of the most right-wing SNP Group in the country.

“Sadly it’s North Ayrshire’s residents who lose out. Our PFI schools have been remortgaged, leaving future generations to pay for them through to the late 2050s, with over £16m being thrown away to “buy time” for the SNP to implement their Governments cuts.”