UK economic policy is not working and has failed people across the Highlands and Islands, regional MSP Emma Roddick has claimed.
Leading a debate on UK Income Inequality in the Scottish Parliament, Ms Roddick highlighted the findings of recent analysis by the Financial Times into income inequality.
The SNP MSP took the opportunity to highlight the loss of funds for the Highlands and Islands, previously relied on for economic growth in the region, as a result of Scotland being removed from the EU against its will.
“Decisions being made down south have too long been designed to allow the rich to get richer at the expense of our most vulnerable.
“UK economic policy is failing the people of the Highlands and Islands and pushing people into poverty.
“When the UK Government pulled Scotland out of the EU against its will, it took with it vital funding for the Highlands and Islands, and the replacement funding has fallen far short of what Whitehall promised.
“As a result, we have seen infrastructure projects and community initiatives not funded.
“Folk across the Highlands & Islands do not want to live in a country where kids grow up hungry and in poverty when there is no need for it.
“We want our public services to be run in the interest of the public, not private stakeholders.
“This economy is simply not working for us.
“The Scottish Government is already doing more than any other administration in the UK to tackle inequality, but we could do so much more with the powers of independence.
“We do not need to continue down this path.
“There is a clear alternative presented in the Scottish Government’s Building a New Scotland papers, one which follows the lead of countries in Europe who have built fairer, more equal societies through independence.
“Societies where kids don’t grow up hungry and in poverty and those in rural and island communities do not get left behind.”