The Scottish National Party has warned the Tory government against using Brexit as an excuse to implement further austerity, after Chancellor George Osborne announced today that he was abandoning his plans to restore UK government finances to a surplus by 2020.
Stewart Hosie MP, the SNP Economy spokesperson, said that the Tory government had now ‘lost all credibility’ on the economy having missed, pushed back or abandoned its targets on key economic indicators including the deficit, debt, borrowing, productivity, trade and exports.
Mr Hosie warned that while the SNP welcomed the Chancellor’s belated decision to abandon the ‘highly damaging and unnecessary’ Budget surplus target, the economic turbulence caused by Brexit should not be used as an excuse for the government to pursue the same counterproductive austerity policies that have held back the economy, damaged public services, and hit ordinary families and the most vulnerable hardest over the past six years.
Commenting, Stewart Hosie MP said:
“The Tory government has lost all credibility on the economy.
“For the second time in just six years Chancellor George Osborne has been forced to abandon his own target on the deficit – the central and defining focus of his economic policy – knowing he stood no chance of meeting it.
“This is a government that has held back economic growth with its austerity policies, and has repeatedly failed on key economic indicators including the debt, deficit, borrowing, productivity, trade and exports.
“While the SNP welcomes the Chancellor’s belated decision to abandon the highly damaging and unnecessary surplus target, we would strongly oppose any attempt by the UK government to use the economic turbulence caused by the EU referendum result to more vigorously pursue the same counterproductive austerity policies that have held back the economy, damaged public services, and hit ordinary families and the most vulnerable hardest.
“We will back all sensible measures to deliver stability and confidence in the UK economy at this time of uncertainty – this must include putting in place a comprehensive plan for trade, exports, innovation and productivity to stimulate growth and genuinely rebalance the economy.”