Tories Must Use Budget to Tackle Growing Debt Crisis and Inequalities Gap

The SNP has urged the UK government to use the upcoming budget to tackle the growing UK debt crisis and inequalities gap.

According to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the economic impact of Covid-19 has split the UK in two.

While millions of people are struggling to get by – with younger people and BAME adults disproportionately affected by the crisis – 48% of adults said it has not affected them financially.

One in seven (14%) have actually seen an improvement in their finances in the past year.

14.2 million UK adults currently have low financial resilience – meaning they are over-indebted or have low levels of savings – an increase of 3.5 million since the beginning of the pandemic.

Commenting, the SNP’s Depute Westminster Leader and Equalities spokesperson, Kirsten Oswald MP (pictured) said:

“The Tories’ reckless and repeated failure to do the right thing – as well as their eleventh-hour announcements – has worsened the UK’s debt crisis, actively pushed more people to foodbanks and into poverty, and widened the UK’s inequalities gap.

“The Chancellor cannot turn his back and ignore these staggering figures or the stark warnings from MPs in all parties, anti-poverty campaigners, businesses and the self-employed.

“He must use the upcoming budget to bring in policies that save jobs and put money into people’s pockets including making the Universal Credit uplift permanent and extending to legacy benefits, extending furlough for as long as necessary, plugging the gaps in coronavirus support and increasing and extending statutory sick pay.

“Covid-19 has exposed the deep inequalities that exist under the broken Westminster system and seen Scotland left to tackle the crisis with one hand tied behind its back as the Tories withhold investment and block the devolution of financial powers.

“Scotland must have the powers to decide its own future.

“The question at the Scottish election in May will be this: who has the right to decide what sort of country we should be after the pandemic – people in Scotland or Boris Johnson?”