SNP told to 'stop talking UK down' by Graham Stuart
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The SNP claimed independence for Scotland was “essential” because of the Tories poor handling of the UK economy since coming to power in 2010. The party claimed a cumulation of damaging decisions at Westminster since 2008 had harmed the economic recovery, including a decade of Tory and Labour austerity cuts and Brexit.
SNP chiefs also warned the UK Government was making the same mistakes again during the recovery from COVID-19 and leaving Scotland’s Covid recovery vulnerable under Westminster control.
An analysis from the House of Commons Library, which Nicola Sturgeon’s party pointed to, said the UK had the lowest growth in GDP per capita of any country in north west Europe between 2009 and 2021.
The study, using IMF data, showed the UK economy grew just 5.8 percent (+£1,709) compared to other European neighbours such as France which grew by 7.1 percent (+£2,221).
Alison Thewliss MP, the SNP’s Shadow Chancellor at Westminster, said: “It is essential that Scotland becomes an independent country, with the full powers and levers needed to secure a strong, fair and equal recovery from Covid.
“A decade of damaging Tory austerity cuts, the self-sabotage of Brexit, and weak economic growth has shown that Westminster cannot be trusted to deliver the strong recovery we need.
“Under Westminster control, the UK has lagged behind since the 2008 financial crash with the weakest recovery of any country in north west Europe and the lowest wealth per head.
“The evidence shows that independent countries of Scotland’s size or smaller do better – and with the full powers of independence Scotland would be able to boost our economy and secure a stronger recovery, instead of being held back by damaging decisions made at Westminster.”
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Hitting back, a Treasury spokesperson described the claims as “nonsense”.
They added: “This is total nonsense, latest figures show the UK having the fastest quarterly growth rate among the G7 nations.
“Our economy is on the mend and showing strong signs of recovery – thanks to our Plan for Jobs and successful vaccine programme.
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“Through the Barnett formula the UK Government has also provided the Scottish Government with an additional £14.5 billion since the start of the pandemic.”
The plea comes as the SNP prepare to bring forward plans for a second independence plan in the upcoming Programme for Government at Holyrood.
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