The SNP has challenged Rishi Sunak (pictured) to use the Autumn Budget to “reverse the trend” which has seen the UK finish behind all of its north west European neighbours on key issues such as inequality, pension poverty, unemployment benefits, recovery, and wages.
Ahead of next week’s Autumn Budget, the SNP has urged the Chancellor to deliver a major investment package to boost productivity, economic growth, and wages – ahead of a winter of deep uncertainty.
The call comes following House of Commons Library research which found the UK had the worst levels of inequality, the least generous pensions, the poorest unemployment benefits, the weakest economic recovery, and the highest percentage of low paid earners in all of north west Europe.
The findings included:
The UK offering only 28% of the average working wage to pensioners – the lowest in north west Europe
The UK ranking lowest in 95% of unemployment laws – the least generous in north west Europe.
The UK’s GDP per capita currently sitting at 5.8% – the lowest in north west Europe.
The UK having 20.3% of workers in low paid jobs – the highest in north west Europe.
Commenting, the SNP’s Shadow spokesperson Alison Thewliss MP said:
“It is essential that Scotland becomes an independent country, with the full powers and levers needed to secure a strong, fair, and equal recovery from the pandemic.
“Following a decade of disastrous Tory austerity measures, a destructive Brexit deal, and no economic plan for the future, Westminster has proven that it cannot be trusted with Scotland’s recovery.
“Under Westminster control, the UK has lagged behind its north west European neighbours in numerous key areas – including inequality, pensions, unemployment benefits, and wages – whilst independent countries similar to or smaller than Scotland continue to flourish.
“It is vital that the Chancellor listens to the calls from across the House and delivers an investment package that will boost economic growth, wages, and productivity – and finally reverse the trend which sees the UK lag behind all of its north west European neighbours.
“Failure to do so will leave millions of families across the UK facing a winter of misery.
“The evidence shows that independent countries of Scotland’s size or smaller continuously do better than the UK on the key issues.
“With the full powers of independence Scotland would be able to boost its economy and secure a stronger recovery from the pandemic – instead of being shackled to the chains of a sleaze riddled Westminster government.”