The SNP has warned against a “damaging return to Tory austerity cuts” – after growing reports that the Chancellor is drawing up plans for cuts to public spending.
Responding to the latest reports in today’s Financial Times, Alison Thewliss MP (pictured) said the UK government must rule out cuts and instead introduce a major coronavirus recovery package and devolve financial powers to the Scottish Parliament to stimulate the economy and secure a strong recovery.
The SNP Shadow Chancellor said the threat of Tory public spending cuts underlined the need for Scotland to have its own financial powers to ensure a tailored response that meets Scotland’s needs and prevents job losses and budget cuts.
Commenting, SNP Shadow Chancellor Alison Thewliss MP said:
“The Chancellor must rule out a damaging return to Tory austerity cuts, which would harm the economic recovery and lead to more job losses and businesses going under.
“Instead of slashing public spending, the UK government must introduce a major coronavirus recovery package, and devolve financial powers to the Scottish Parliament so we can stimulate the economy and secure a strong recovery.
“The growing threat of Tory cuts shows exactly why it is so crucial that the Scottish Parliament has the financial powers needed to protect Scotland’s budget and deliver tailored investment that meets Scotland’s needs.
“The Scottish Government is tackling the economic crisis with one hand tied behind its back – with current rules preventing borrowing to spend money where its desperately needed. It’s completely unacceptable, unsustainable and harms Scotland’s interests.
“If the UK Treasury won’t provide the extra funding needed to respond properly to the coronavirus crisis – it would force the Scottish Parliament to cut back services, unless Scotland has the powers needed to do what every other country does and borrow at historically low interest rates
“The SNP will continue to press the UK government to deliver the funding and powers needed – but the fact that it is threatening cuts at the worst possible time underlines why Scotland needs the normal powers it would have as an independent country.”