Budget 2017: what was missing from the Chancellor’s speech

Today the Chancellor of the Exchequer delivered the 2017 UK budget.

Here’s what was missing from the speech.

Scotland’s budget has been cut by £2.9 billion.

In the ten year period to 2019-20 the UK government – both the Tory-led coalition and the current Tory government – will have cut Scotland’s budget, in real terms, by a huge £2.9 billion.

…And that’s before we factor in the additional £3.5 billion of UK-wide cuts in the years to come.

Austerity continues, hitting the most vulnerable.

Even according to the Treasury’s own analysis, Tory tax and benefit changes will make the poorest households worse off by 2019-20.

And the Institute for Fiscal Studies project absolute child poverty across the UK to increase to 30 per cent by 2021-22 as a result of Tory cuts.

Yet the Chancellor’s speech didn’t mention poverty or set out measures to tackle it.

The Tory budget contained no plan to deal with the economic consequences of Brexit.

A hard Tory Brexit could cost up to 80,000 Scottish jobs and cost Scotland’s economy up to £11 billion a year by 2030.

Despite this, there wasn’t a single mention of a plan to protect the economy, despite the fact that Theresa May is gearing up to trigger Article 50.

There is still no urgent action to support the oil and gas industry.

The Chancellor announced a “discussion paper”. While welcome, failure to act now shows an alarming lack of urgency.

The SNP and the industry have now been calling for specific support for over a year. Read more about the action the UK Government could take now to support oil and gas here.

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