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Thursday, April 25, 2024

Voters Back Borrowing Powers for Holyrood

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Tory plan to scrap furlough means Scotland must have powers to protect jobs.

An overwhelming majority of voters believe the Scottish Government should have the power to borrow money on its own terms, according to a YouGov poll.

The latest survey from YouGov also found that voters in Scotland think the UK government should maintain its current spending levels to support the economy, even if that means more borrowing.

Of those polled between 6th – 10th August who express an opinion, 69% believe the Scottish government should have the power to borrow money, 71% believe borrowing should be used to maintain spending that supports the economy and public services even if it means a larger national debt, and 62% prefer the deficit being reduced via taxation and not cuts.

Despite this, the Tory Chancellor at Westminster plans to end the furlough scheme prematurely in October, throwing thousands of Scottish jobs on the scrap heap.

Commenting, SNP MSP Angela Constance said:

“Voters are clear that they want spending to continue at its current levels to help support Scottish jobs.

“Holyrood currently only has very limited borrowing powers – but this poll suggests that voters across Scotland overwhelmingly want to see the country given the same tools that other nations have to tackle the economic impact of the pandemic

“Right now, the Scottish Government is tackling this economic crisis with one hand tied behind its back.

“The measures the Chancellor announced in May were welcome, but go nowhere near far enough.

“European countries like Germany have announced a 24-month extension to its version of the furlough scheme – but Westminster plans on cutting off its support at the end of October.

“We can’t allow Westminster to reduce its borrowing at the expense of Scottish jobs. 

“It’s time for the UK government to listen to the people and bring forward an extensive coronavirus recovery package – or hand Holyrood the financial powers it needs so Scotland can protect Scottish jobs.”

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