UK Faces Perfect Storm Threat to Jobs and Incomes

The UK is facing a growing threat to jobs, incomes and livelihoods from a “perfect storm of Tory cuts, tax hikes, and the unfolding disaster of Brexit”.

With twelve days until the Tory government terminates the furlough scheme and sixteen until it slashes the incomes of six million families with £1040 cuts to Universal Credit, Ian Blackford MP (pictured) said Boris Johnson is “threatening Scotland’s Covid recovery with a Tory unemployment and poverty crisis” – and urged the Prime Minister to U-turn on the planned cuts to Universal Credit and furlough.

The SNP Westminster Leader said the “toxic combination” of furlough ending prematurely, Universal Credit cuts, a 1.25% increase in National Insurance, skyrocketing energy prices, rising inflation, and the damage of Boris Johnson’s hard Brexit deal to businesses, exports and the economy – would “hammer incomes, squeeze businesses and cost jobs”.

It comes as:

Energy bills are expected to rise by at least £139 for millions of households – despite claims by Boris Johnson that they would fall after Brexit.

Inflation reached 3.2 per cent in August following the greatest month-on-month rise since records began in 1997.

Analysis from the House of Commons Library, using HMRC data, revealed that 116,500 jobs remain furloughed in Scotland at the latest count – 5% of eligible jobs.

Analysis from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation revealed more than one in three (37%) families with children in Scotland could be hit by the Universal Credit cuts.

Analysis from SPICe found a Band 5 nurse in Scotland can expect their National Insurance payments to increase by at least £206.70 from April – 20.6% of the pay rise received through the 4% increase given to Agenda for Change health and care staff.

Data from Eurostat found exports from the UK to the EU fell by a staggering €16billion (-17.1%) in the first seven months of 2021, following the Brexit deal, compared to the same period in 2020.

Commenting, SNP Westminster Leader Ian Blackford MP said:

“The UK is facing a growing threat to jobs, incomes and livelihoods from a perfect storm of Tory cuts, tax hikes, and the unfolding disaster of Brexit.

“By imposing this toxic combination, Boris Johnson is threatening Scotland’s covid recovery with a Tory unemployment and poverty crisis, which will hammer incomes, squeeze businesses, cost jobs, and leave millions of families languishing on the breadline.

“The Tory government must ditch its plans to slash Universal Credit by £1040, and instead of prematurely withdrawing support for jobs and businesses – it should be delivering a major fiscal stimulus to boost the recovery and raise people’s incomes.

“Scotland is increasingly vulnerable from Tory cuts and the long-term damage of Brexit, which are costing the Scottish economy billions of pounds and making people poorer.

“It is evident that the Tory government has no intention of building a fair recovery from Covid.

“The only way to keep Scotland safe from damaging and reckless Westminster policies is to become an independent country, with the full powers needed to build a strong, fair and equal recovery.”