The SNP has said that Scotland’s future must be in Scotland’s hands – after the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) warned that the UK faces a new period of deep Tory austerity.
After analysis of the Chancellor’s Budget, Ben Zaranko, a research economist from the IFS, said:
“Plans can change but, as things stand, for many public services, the first half of the 2020s could feel like the austerity of the 2010s.”
Zaranko added that in some areas the “Chancellor’s spending plans are even tighter than they first appeared.
“This poses clear and obvious challenges, not least because of the new pressures created by the pandemic.”
It comes after the IFS calculated that Rishi Sunak’s spending plans did not fully take into account forecasted inflation rates or Barnett consequentials – which in turn leads to a deeper multi-billion pound cut to public service spending.
Commenting, the SNP’s Shadow Chancellor Alison Thewliss MP (pictured) said:
“Rather than kickstarting our economic recovery from the pandemic by heeding calls to bring forward a real financial package, the IFS has warned that the Chancellor’s plans actually signal a return to Tory austerity.
“With millions of households having their incomes slashed, businesses being pushed to the brink, people facing cliff-edge cuts to Universal Credit, and tax rises for millions of workers – the Tory government is putting the recovery of our NHS, the economy and countless jobs at needless risk.
“The warnings from the IFS make for grim reading – we have seen the scale of the damage caused by a decade of deep Tory austerity.
“Attempting to balance the books on the backs of millions of people already struggling to get by yet again highlights the choice of two futures facing the people of Scotland.
“The upcoming election in May is set to be one of the most important in Scotland’s history, and voters will face a stark choice – we can either suffer the long-term damage of Tory austerity cuts at Westminster, or instead grab the opportunity to protect our place in Europe and build a strong, fair and green recovery as an independent country.
“With both votes SNP we can put Scotland’s future in Scotland’s hands – not Boris Johnson’s.”