The SNP has said the Tory government must introduce a £98billion fiscal stimulus package and devolve financial powers to Scotland to kick start the economy – after figures revealed the UK economy grew by just 0.4% in October as the recovery continued to slow.
The Office for National Statistics has today released new figures that show the economy remains fragile, with unemployment continuing to surge.
The Confederation of British Industry has also warned that the economic impact of the pandemic coupled with that of Brexit will see the economy unlikely to return to pre-Covid levels until the end of 2022, with unemployment set to rise to 2.51 million – 7.3% of the workforce – in the second quarter of next year.
The SNP Shadow Chancellor has said the Tories must deliver a major investment package to “protect public services and put money in people’s pockets”, and mitigate the damage of Brexit, which has already taken £4billion out of Scotland’s economy.
Commenting, Alison Thewliss MP (pictured) said:
“It is vital that the UK government delivers a major fiscal stimulus package – to the tune of £98 billion if we are to match other countries – and devolve financial powers to the Scottish Government to protect public services and put money in people’s pockets if we are to secure a strong economic recovery.
“Instead of imposing more cuts, Rishi Sunak should follow Scotland’s lead and honour the heroes in the NHS, social care and public services.
“He can do that with a multi-billion-pound boost to funding across the UK and a meaningful pay rise for them.
“That means increasing the level of health and social care spending in England to at least the higher per capita level in Scotland, delivering an extra £35billion in England and an extra £4billion for NHS Scotland through Barnett consequentials.
“After a decade of Tory austerity, which has pushed millions into poverty, it is crucial that the UK government act now to boost incomes – by making the £20 uplift to Universal Credit permanent and extending it to legacy benefits, delivering support for the 3 million excluded, committing to extending the furlough scheme for as long as it is needed, and tackling poverty by matching the new Scottish Child Payment of £10 per child per week.
“Scotland shouldn’t have to wait for Westminster to act.
“By withholding investment and blocking the devolution of financial powers, the Tory government has hindered Scotland’s ability to respond to this crisis. It must not jeopardise Scotland’s recovery too.
“The Scottish Government is best placed to secure a strong, fair and green recovery for Scotland – but we can only do that with the full powers of independence.
“Scotland has a right to determine its own future so it can build the fairer society the people of Scotland want.”