Scotland must not pay the price for another brutal Tory budget

Scotland has rejected the Tories and their economic policies.

Scotland must not be forced to pay the price for today’s Tory budget, say the Scottish Greens. 

The party has called on the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Jeremy Hunt, to replicate progressive income tax changes already made in Scotland and reverse the huge cuts Westminster has inflicted on public services over the last fourteen years.

Over recent years the Tories have inflicted huge real-terms cuts on the block grant which funds the Scottish Government, with a further £485 million cut to Scotland’s capital budget in the coming year alone.

The party’s finance spokesperson, Ross Greer MSP, said: “Government by Westminster has been a disaster for Scotland. The cost of living crisis and the economic chaos they have inflicted are having a devastating impact on our public services and on families across the country.

“With Scottish Greens in government we are doing everything we can to protect people and planet from the Tories, but our ability to do so is severely limited when one hand is tied behind our back by Westminster’s swinging budget cuts and surging inflation. 

“With sky high energy costs, disastrous public service cuts and families being stretched from all directions, Westminster has catastrophically failed the people of Scotland.

“We need an inflation-proofed budget. At the very least, Westminster must increase Scotland’s budget in-line with inflation and ensure that our Parliament is not made to pay the price for Tory cruelty and incompetence.

“In Scotland we have increased income taxes on the highest earners and this has allowed us to invest in services to support vulnerable families, like the groundbreaking Scottish Child Payment which is lifting 50,000 children out of poverty this year alone. By replicating the progressive tax changes secured by the Scottish Greens the UK government could raise over £11 billion for the NHS and other public services.

“The Chancellor could also end the 90% relief they purposefully built into the oil and gas windfall tax, ensuring that the obscene multi-billion pound profits of big polluters are used to support our efforts to tackle the climate crisis and create jobs in renewable energy.

Mr Greer added: “The people of Scotland have rejected the Tories time and again, just as I am confident we will when we go to the polls this year.

"Just think how different the last fourteen years could have been if Scotland had got the governments we voted for, rather than the sorry saga of five different Tory Prime Ministers whose party we rejected but who have inflicted so much harm on our communities.

“With the Conservatives finally on the verge of defeat but Labour falling over themselves to list all the Tory policies they would keep in place, it is clearer than ever that independence is our only realistic route to ending the cycle of damage being done to Scotland by Westminster. Only with Scotland’s future in Scotland’s hands can we build a fairer, greener society.”