SNP Westminster Leader, Ian Blackford MP, will today (Tuesday) set out how the UK can learn from Scotland’s progressive economic policies, and will call for the UK Government to ‘press the reset button‘ on its damaging austerity agenda – doing so much damage.
In a keynote speech in London, Ian Blackford will outline the contrast between policies implemented by the SNP Scottish Government and the UK government, and the challenges and threats facing the devolution settlement.
The event is hosted by the IPPR (Institute for Public Policy Research) Commission on Economic Justice. IPPR is a leading think tank in the UK and IPPR Scotland its dedicated Scottish operation. IPPR’s Commission on Economic Justice will publish proposals for radical reform of the UK economy in September.
Commenting ahead of the event , Ian Blackford MP said: “With Brexit dominating – it is all the more imperative that we all look for solutions to protect, bolster and stabilise our economy.
“Today I am calling on the Tories to press the reset button – and abandon their austerity agenda which is doing so much damage.
“In Scotland we are up for the challenge of change. While the global economy rapidly shifts and develops, as a nation we have the appetite to seize opportunities and transform lives.
“However, the UK Government seems intent on ignoring this with their ideological cuts and austerity agenda. The Tory government is in chaos and is creating endless instability as it drives ahead with Brexit without the guarantees for single market and customs union membership – ruinous for our economy.
“The UK Government has lessons to learn – that defining and delivering a strong economy must have the economic interests of all citizens at its core. There is little point in having political power if you will not use it to better lives. Government is supposed to improve and enhance lives not hinder them.
“While the UK Government continues its endless austerity policy – the SNP Scottish Government has made different decisions with the powers we have in Scotland. Austerity is a political choice, not a necessity.
“In the face of Tory austerity, the Scottish Government is providing the best public services across the UK. Despite the Scottish fiscal resource budget being cut in real terms, the Scottish Government continues to deliver free tuition, whilst spending on education and training and on health is rising.
“For us economic justice requires social reform as well as economic reform. The two are not independent but interdependent. Only by building a fairer society can we build a wealthier, fairer nation.
“The contrast between the progressive policies pursued by the SNP Scottish Government and the regressive damaging austerity agenda driven by the UK government is clear to see.
“The UK government must press that reset button and adopt an economic approach that puts the livelihoods of families and communities at the forefront.”