The SNP has called out Boris Johnson over a “litany of failures” and for “leading the most corrupt and broken” Westminster government in recent times, as the Tory leader marks two years in office as Prime Minister.
The party’s Westminster leader condemned Johnson for his record in government and his pernicious policies which have inflicted lasting economic harm, pushed families into hardship and poverty, abandoned those desperately in need, and punished businesses with mounting costs and red tape.
Under Boris Johnson, the SNP highlighted that the Tory government has –
Enabled cronyism to run rampant – with multi-billion-pound Covid contracts handed out to friends, close contacts and party donors, misused public money to carry out research on the public’s attitude towards the union, and stuffed the House of Lords with cronies and unelected Tories.
Imposed an extreme Brexit against Scotland’s will – dragging the UK out of the world’s largest single market, burdening businesses with red tape and mounting costs, all in the middle of a global pandemic.
Splurged taxpayers’ money on vanity projects – including £2.6 million on a media room, a reported multi-million-pound yacht, and nearly one million pounds to repaint Johnson’s VIP plane red, white and blue.
Slashed the aid budget for the world’s poorest and most vulnerable in the middle of a pandemic – breaking a manifesto and legal commitment and facing accusations that jobs for votes were offered to rebel MPs to prevent a defeat on a vote to restore the aid budget.
Power grab – launched repeated attacks against the devolved governments through blatant power grab policies, with the UK Internal Market Act and UK Shared Prosperity Fund acting as a Trojan Horse to undermine devolution, rob powers from the Scottish Parliament, and dictate spending over devolved areas.
Forced into a screeching U-turn after opposing the extension of free school meals to children from low-income families during the school holidays in England.
Come under fire over plans to axe the £20 Universal Credit uplift in September – which would slash £1040 a year from six million households, as well as “knock out the benefits that the Scottish Child Payment brings”.
Sold out Scotland’s fishing and farming communities with its Brexit plans and damaging trade deals, including the Australia deal which risks undercutting Scotland’s key industries.
Signalled a return to austerity – rather than an investment-led recovery from the pandemic, the government has signalled a return to Tory austerity which will punish already hard-hit families further and consign many more to poverty.
Commenting, SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford MP said:
“Boris Johnson’s time in office has been mired in sleaze and scandals, a litany of failures, and driven by Tory self-interest.
“There’s no doubt that Boris Johnson is leading the most corrupt and broken Westminster government in recent times – and Scotland is being forced to pay a hefty price.
“From rampant Tory cronyism through lucrative Covid contracts handed out like sweeties to friends, contacts and donors; imposition of an extreme Brexit that has delivered a body blow to our economy, businesses and communities; repeated power grab attempts on the devolved governments; and a mountain of toxic policies that have pushed families and vulnerable people further into hardship – Johnson’s Tory government is utterly out of touch and acting against our interests.
“The Westminster UK government has chosen its future – a job destroying Brexit, the return of austerity cuts and more attacks on devolution.
“Scotland can chart a different course to a better future, rather than being dragged further down the wrong road.
“We are at a crossroads.
“Rather than looking to secure an investment-led recovery from the pandemic, Johnson has chosen a different and dangerous path by signalling a return to failed Tory austerity of the past and pulling vital support, including the Universal Credit uplift, at this critical time – which we know will consign many more people to poverty.
“We know the past Westminster has imposed, and we now know the future it will inflict.
“It’s clear that Scotland is vulnerable under Westminster control.
“Scotland has different values and a very different vision for our future.
“It’s beyond any doubt that the only way to properly protect our interests and to build a fairer and more equal society is to become an independent country.”