Cost-of-living? The problem is Westminster. The solution is voting SNP

“The best way to tackle the cost-of-living crisis is to ensure that we get on with building a stronger economy that will support jobs and growth.”

You would be forgiven for thinking that comment by a Westminster government minister was uttered recently.

It was actually made over 10 years ago.

The fact is that the Westminster system has overseen a permanent cost-of-living crisis for too many people in the UK.

It can be seen in economic statistics which not only show that the UK is the poor man of North West Europe but has been for decades. Poverty and inequality are rife and Westminster government decisions play a significant part in this.

And, as recent headlines show, this problem which already affects too many people is growing:

  1. IMF says that the UK shows the wrong way to fight inflation – Fortune, 11 October 2022
  2. Truss is blamed for inflation chaos as mortgage lenders hike rates yet again – Mirror, 5 June 20 
  3. Chancellor ‘will create implausible austerity with post-election public spending cuts’ – Guardian, 22 November 2023
  4. Britain warned Austerity 2.0 will see spending on public services slashed again – Mirror, 6 November 2023

And despite the rhetoric, Labour are not the solution to this decades old problem.

As the following news items show they are part and parcel of the same Westminster economic system of tax cuts for the wealthy and cuts for public services.

  1. Labour will copy Tory tax and spending plans if elected – Sunday Times, 9 July 2023
  2. Starmer says he’s happy to be branded a ‘fiscal conservative’ – Independent, 16 July 2023 
  3. Labour tax cuts would threaten another ‘period of austerity’ for public services, warns IFS – Evening Standard, 4 January 2024

And there’s another issue which shows Westminster is the problem – particularly when it comes to Scotland – Brexit.

A damaging policy Scotland massively rejected but which Westminster imposed on us anyway. A policy which is another factor in causing a greater cost-of-living crisis:

  1. Brexit to blame for rising inflation, says former Bank of England governor – Guardian, 17 June 2022
  2. Brexit caused a third of UK food price inflation, LSE paper says – Bloomberg, 24 May 2023
  3. By end of 2021, Brexit cost UK households £5.8bn in higher food bills – LSE Research, 1 December 2022

And once again Westminster parties offer no route out of this mess which is causing an increased rise in prices and poverty.

The Tories imposed it and there’s no hope of an escape from Brexit with Scottish Labour. They’ve come into line with Keir Starmer’s Brexit position. One which is no different from the Tories:

  1. Keir Starmer embraces Brexit slogan with ‘take back control’ pledge – BBC News, 5 January 2023
  2. Starmer ends Labour silence on Brexit as he rules out rejoining single market – The Guardian, 4 July 2022

And the Lib Dems? They’ve also given up. Their leader said that re-joining was ‘for the birds‘. This was despite their Scottish leader promising they would become the ‘party of re-entry‘ after Brexit. They haven’t. In fact quite the opposite.

It’s all the more bizarre since many of those Westminster politicians and parties who originally opposed Brexit warned that it could lead to Westminster cuts.

David Cameron said Brexit “would mean spending less on public services“.

Ruth Davidson argued that “you don’t fund schools and hospitals…by crashing the economy” with Brexit.

And Scottish Labour tweeted that Brexit “could mean bigger cuts to our schools and hospitals“.

Yet despite this happening they all now accept or even support Brexit.

Why? Because power at Westminster is more important to them and they want to please ‘Leave’ voters in England – even although polls show the public has turned against it.

It sums up how dysfunctional Westminster and its party system is. Brexit has exposed how Westminster is the source of people’s problems, and exposed how Westminster is the source of constant policy failure.

However, Scotland has an alternative to escape Westminster’s callous austerity and the debilitating support for Brexit embraced by all its parties.

Voting for the SNP is a vote for independence – the only route Scotland has to re-join the largest single market in the world and to grow the economy which will increase government revenues.

And for hard-pressed Scots to depart from a never-ending cost-of-living crisis under Westminster control.