Scottish Labour interim leader Jackie Baillie has welcomed the announcement of new funding to tackle Scotland’s drugs crisis, but has challenged the First Minister over cuts to Alcohol and Drug partnerships during her time as First Minister.
Speaking in the chamber, Jackie Baillie said: “ It is tragic that it has come to this, and I welcome her acknowledgement that more needed to be done beforehand.
“As Health Secretary she presided over the Road to Recovery strategy which the Scottish Drugs Forum described as a significant contributory factor to our present situation. And when the Scottish Government cut the budgets of Alcohol and Drugs Partnerships they were warned that it would lead to more deaths: now there are 1200 deaths in a single year.
“So, I very much welcome the additional funding. The existing £20m a year for additional treatment and support services runs out in 2021. So, can the First Minister advise whether the £50m she has announced is in addition to the existing £20m, or is this £30m extra?
“And in terms of outcomes, what has assessment has been made on the impact of reducing deaths?”