Ian Blackford MP

Call for £98 Billion Fiscal Stimulus Package to Kick Start Economy

The SNP has said the Tory government must introduce a £98billion fiscal stimulus package to kick start the economy – ahead of the spending review tomorrow.

In a letter to the Prime Minister and Chancellor, Ian Blackford MP said the Tories must ditch plans to impose a public sector pay freeze – and instead deliver a major investment package to “protect our public services and put money in people’s pockets”.

The SNP Westminster Leader warned there must be no return to Tory austerity, which would starve the economy of cash at the worst possible time – amid a devastating extreme Brexit and growing Tory unemployment crisis.

Instead the SNP has called for:

A fiscal stimulus of at least £98billion and the devolution of financial powers – to secure a strong, fair and green recovery, and mitigate the damage of Brexit, which has already taken £4billion out of Scotland’s economy.

A package of measures to put money in people’s pockets – committing to extend the furlough scheme until the end of 2021 if required, making the £20 uplift to Universal Credit permanent and extending it to legacy benefits, fixing the gaps in covid-19 support schemes for the 3million excluded, and tackling child poverty by introducing an increase in benefits modelled on the new Scottish Child Payment of £10 per child per week.

A major cash injection for the NHS and social care across the four UK nations – by increasing the level of spending on Health and Social Care in England to at least the higher per capita level in Scotland, resulting in an extra £4billion for NHS Scotland and enabling a pay increase for workers across the UK.

Frontline health spending in Scotland is currently £136 per person higher than in England (6.3%) and Social Care funding is £130 per capita higher (43%).

Raising funding in England to Scottish levels, would deliver £35bn extra in day-to-day NHS spending in England by 2023/24 compared to 2019/20 and an extra £4billion for NHS Scotland.

Commenting, SNP Westminster Leader Ian Blackford MP (pictured) said:

“At a time when the UK faces a devastating extreme Brexit and a growing Tory unemployment crisis, it is crucial that the Chancellor uses the Spending Review to deliver a major fiscal stimulus package, and the devolution of financial powers – to protect our public services, put money in people’s pockets, and kickstart a strong economic recovery.

“Talk of a return to Tory austerity cuts, with a public sector pay freeze, is an insult to millions of workers who have been on the frontline in the fight against Covid-19.

“It would squeeze living standards and starve the economy of investment at the worst possible time – when we need a stimulus of at least £98billion to match other countries.

“Instead of imposing more cuts, the Chancellor should be honouring our heroes in the NHS, social care and public services with a multi-billion-pound boost to funding across the UK – and a meaningful pay rise for workers.

“That means increasing the level of health and social care spending in England to at least the higher per capita level in Scotland, delivering an extra £35billion in England and an extra £4billion for NHS Scotland through Barnett consequentials.

“It is no use Tory ministers clapping for public sector workers in the spring, if they then cut public sector pay in the autumn.

“After a decade of Tory cuts, which have pushed millions into poverty, it is crucial that this Spending Review boosts incomes – by making the £20 uplift to Universal Credit permanent and extending it to legacy benefits, delivering support for the 3 million excluded, committing to extend furlough to the end of 2021 if required, and tackling poverty by matching the new Scottish Child Payment of £10 per child per week.

“Scotland shouldn’t have to wait for Westminster to act.

“By withholding investment and blocking the devolution of financial powers, the Tory government has hindered Scotland’s ability to respond to this crisis. It must not jeopardise Scotland’s recovery too.

“The Scottish Government is best placed to secure a strong, fair and green recovery for Scotland – but we can only do that with the full powers of an independent country.

“Scotland has a right to determine our own future so we can build the fairer country we all want to see.”