Tories Threatening Scotland’s Recovery by Withholding Crucial Powers and Funding

The SNP has said the Tory government is “threatening Scotland’s recovery” – after the Chancellor refused to extend the furlough scheme and failed to give a commitment to devolving crucial financial powers to the Scottish Parliament.

Responding to the fiscal statement, Ian Blackford MP (pictured) warned that the Tories were putting people’s “jobs and livelihoods on the line” by cutting off the Job Retention Scheme and Self-Employment Income Support Scheme too soon.

The SNP Westminster Leader said the Tory government was leaving the Scottish Parliament to tackle the unprecedented economic crisis with “one hand tied behind its back” by withholding the financial powers requested by the Scottish Government to secure a strong recovery in Scotland.

Mr Blackford added the statement was “a missed opportunity to put fairness at the heart of the recovery” – with the Tory government failing to invest in tackling soaring levels of child poverty, and failing to deliver a major boost to NHS and Social Care funding by refusing to match the higher levels of spending per head in Scotland, which would have delivered a £35billion increase for NHS England and a £4billion increase for NHS Scotland.

Commenting, SNP Westminster Leader Ian Blackford MP said:

“The Tories are threatening Scotland’s recovery by prematurely cutting off the furlough scheme for millions of workers – and withholding the crucial financial powers that Scotland needs.

“While other countries are extending support into 2021, the Tory government is ignoring Scotland’s interests and putting people’s jobs and livelihoods on the line by withdrawing this lifeline too soon – risking a raft of redundancies and lasting damage to our economy.

“By refusing to give any commitment to devolving financial powers, the Tories are deliberately leaving the Scottish Parliament to tackle this unprecedented crisis with one hand tied behind its back – putting Scotland’s recovery at risk in a completely unacceptable way.

“While there were announcements we welcomed, the Chancellor’s package lacked ambition by failing to deliver the scale of funding needed for an investment-led recovery.

“It didn’t come close to meeting the £80billion of new money proposed by the Scottish Government or the four per cent of GDP investment that Germany has delivered.

“It was also a missed opportunity to put fairness at the heart of the recovery.

“This crisis has exposed the deep inequalities caused by a decade of Tory austerity – but we saw no real investment to boost people’s incomes or reverse the soaring levels of child poverty in the UK.

“The Chancellor ignored calls by the SNP and anti-poverty campaigners to tackle inequality – by failing to introduce a real living wage or increase Universal Credit payments for families with children by £20 a week.

“The Tories also failed to deliver any major boost to NHS and Social Care funding.

“Refusing to match the £136 higher levels of spending per head in Scotland, which would have delivered a £35billion increase for NHS England and a £4billion increase for NHS Scotland in Barnett consequentials.

“With unemployment rising and businesses going under, the SNP will continue to press the UK government to ensure Scotland has the powers and the funds we need to protect jobs and deliver a strong and fair recovery.

“It’s time the Tory government raised its ambitions.”