The SNP has called on the UK government to rule out a return to Tory austerity – after reports the government is considering imposing damaging cuts, including a public sector pay freeze.
Responding to a leaked Treasury document obtained by the Telegraph, SNP Shadow Chancellor Alison Thewliss said imposing another decade of Tory cuts on millions of people including NHS workers was not the right response to the coronavirus crisis.
Commenting, SNP Shadow Chancellor Alison Thewliss MP said: “The UK government must rule out a return to Tory austerity, which has damaged the economy and caused devastating harm to people, public services and communities across the UK.
“Reports that the Tory government is considering imposing more damaging cuts, including freezing public sector pay, will be deeply concerning for millions of people who are already struggling.
“We must learn the lessons of the last economic crash and choose to protect our public services and ensure that people are not pushed into further poverty and hardship
“Boris Johnson previously pledged austerity would ‘certainly not’ be the Tory government’s response to this crisis.
“He must now make it absolutely clear by giving a cast-iron guarantee there will be no return to austerity and ruling out a freeze on public sector pay.”
She continued: “It would be utter hypocrisy to applaud our health and social care staff during this crisis, then freeze their pay afterwards.
“Tory cuts over the past decade have pushed millions of people into hardship and caused poverty and inequality to soar.
“At a time when the coronavirus crisis is already hammering households we cannot afford the prospect of more damaging cuts down the line.”
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