Scotland’s recovery at risk without guarantee of ongoing support
Ahead of the Finance Bill returning to Parliament for its remaining stages today (Wednesday 1st July), the SNP has called for the UK government to commit to continuing coronavirus support schemes for as long as the economies and public health of all four UK nations require it.
The SNP has tabled an amendment to the Bill that, if passed, would require the UK government to carry out assessments of the economic impact of withdrawing the coronavirus support schemes before two years – saying that withdrawing support prematurely would “put Scotland’s economic recovery at risk.”
Following the Prime Minister’s announcement yesterday on a ‘New Deal’ – which SNP Westminster Leader Ian Blackford said was a “failure of ambition” and “completely ignores Scotland’s needs” – the SNP has also called for financial powers to be devolved to the Scottish Parliament, the Prime Minister to match the ambition of First Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s proposals for at least £80billion of investment, and a proper jobs guarantee for young people.
Commenting, SNP Shadow Chancellor Alison Thewliss MP said:
“The Chancellor must live up to his pledge to do whatever it takes to protect people’s jobs and livelihoods – and that means committing to continuing coronavirus support schemes for as long as all four nations in the UK require it and devolving financial powers to Scotland.
“If he will not, he and the rest of the Tory party are putting Scotland’s economic recovery at risk and will leave Scotland tackling the crisis with one hand tied behind its back.
“The coronavirus support schemes have been a lifeline to so many, but if the Tories pull this safety net away prematurely, thousands if not millions could be pushed into untold hardship. This is on top of the one million people who have fallen through the gaps in available support and the 14.5 million currently living in poverty in the UK.
“It’s now time for the Tories to commit to helping all those who have missed out and ensuring there are measures in place now and in the future for anyone who may be financially impacted by coronavirus.”