Responding to the UK government’s plans for the new Parliament outlined in the Queen’s Speech, the SNP’s Westminster leader Ian Blackford MP said:
“Beyond the pomp, ceremony and rhetoric, the Queen’s Speech offered nothing to help people who are suffering under a Tory-made cost-of-living crisis and are struggling to make ends meet.
“This was not just a missed opportunity – it was a political choice by a broken Tory government to sit on its hands while we face the biggest inflationary crisis in 50 years.
“The Bank of England confirmed last week that we are on the brink of recession – meanwhile both the Prime Minister and Chancellor are consumed by scandals to get on with the day job.
“Instead of tackling the Tory cost-of-living crisis and focusing on people’s priorities, Boris Johnson set out measures for a race to the bottom in standards through the ‘Brexit Freedoms Bill’ to repeal EU retained law and the other Brexit legislation.
“The very idea that Westminster will be able to strike down devolved legislatures retained EU laws is the latest in a long line of blatant Tory power grabs.
“And, the proposal by the UK government to rip up the Human Rights Act is one more example of a government that is prepared to force through legislation that is not only immoral but internationally illegal.
“The attack on human rights legislation is all the more concerning given the context of the continuing failure to respond compassionately and comprehensively to the ongoing Ukrainian refugee crisis – not to mention the anti-refugee bill that was passed in the previous session
“The agenda of this Westminster government couldn’t be clearer – a hostile environment to devolution, to human rights law and to refugees.
“The SNP has been consistently clear that we needed to see real support to help put money into people’s pockets, including converting the £200 energy loan into a more generous grant, scrapping the National Insurance tax hike, reversing the £1040 cuts to Universal Credit, matching the Scottish Child Payment UK-wide, introducing a Real Living Wage to boost incomes, reducing or removing VAT on household energy bills, and following the Scottish Government’s 6% uprating of benefits.
“The reality is that people across Scotland are being forced to pay a heavy price for the cost of living with Westminster.
“The only way to protect our interests and households is to become an independent country.”