Ten reasons why I'm proud of what my Labour council is doing to combat the effects of George Osborne and the SNP Government

ACCORDING to the Tory chancellor, George Osborne, the worst of the recession is behind us and household income is increasing.

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Maybe in his rich-man's world. But that's not my experience, nor is it that of the large majority of people I speak to day-and-daily.

For most Glaswegians prices are still rising but wages are standing still.

Fuel bills have soared, along with the profits of the big power companies.

No wonder the opinion polls show that Labour is favourite to beat the Tories in the General Election next year.

To make matters worse, the council services you most value in Glasgow have been robbed of a staggering £153 million in the two years 2013-15.

That's because year-on-year the SNP Government gives Glasgow a smaller slice of the local government budget and allocates our money to other parts of Scotland.

We expect this treatment from the Tories, but the reduction in Glasgow's share of the council budget is a decision made in Scotland by the SNP.

In spite of these challenges, I'm proud of what my Labour council is doing to help our fellow citizens in these tough times:

1. Glasgow was the first council in Scotland to introduce the Living Wage. The whole of local government in Scotland has now copied Glasgow's Living Wage figure.

2. To help them keep warm in winter, we pay £100 annually to every Glasgow pensioner aged 80.

3. We've the largest apprenticeship programme of its kind in the UK, benefiting over 3000 young people so far.

4. We pay a UK-leading wage subsidy to employers to encourage them to recruit unemployed young people, graduates, care-leavers and people aged 50 and over.

5. We provide the best package of support in the country for our armed forces veterans, including help with work, housing, and money advice.

6. We lead the country in childcare and nursery provision, well in excess of Scottish Government levels, and we fund 135 breakfast clubs in our primary schools.

7. Every first-year pupil at Glasgow's secondary schools has a credit-union account, with an initial £10 deposit from the council to start them saving.

8. We froze the Council Tax in Glasgow in 2005, two years before the Scottish Government followed our lead.

9. We were the first council in Scotland to fund the work of Entrepreneurial Spark, as part of a package of support for Glaswegians who want to set up their own business.

10. We provide free swimming and golf for Glaswegians aged under 18 and over 60; free bowling and tennis for all; and free Happy-Hour access to 5-a-side pitches.

A starter for 10. And just think of what more we could achieve if we get rid of the Tories in 2015, and had a Scottish Government that would treat Glasgow fairly instead of constantly obsessing about breaking up Britain.

Local government

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