The Chancellor today set out his first Autumn Statement and laid bare the real cost of Brexit.
Here’s what you need to know.
A missed opportunity to end austerity
The Chancellor has chosen to continue Tory austerity, slash budgets for public services and hammer family finances.
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 by a huge £2.9 billion in real terms. That’s after the Chancellor’s ‘extra’ £820 million is added. To paraphrase the former Tory leader William Hague, it’s a bit like stealing someone’s car and coming back the next day with the hubcaps. Find out more on that here.
A Brexit bombshell for our economy – with £225 million more in borrowing every week
The Autumn Statement revealed the truth about Brexit and the UK’s financial and economic future. The impact of the EU referendum result will be lower growth, higher inflation, lower tax revenues, and higher debt.
The Brexit con of £350 million more for the NHS per week was laid bare. In fact, the additional borrowing caused by Brexit will amount to £225 million per week.
Household incomes will also be squeezed – with the government’s own watchdog saying saying that since the EU referendum prices will go up, while earnings will be held back.
Find out more about the action the Scottish Government is taking to mitigate the impact of Brexit on Scotland’s economy here.
No reassurance of our continued place in the single market
Not only did the Chancellor fail to give any reassurances on our place in the single market – he failed to even mention it. In fact, the only mention of the European Union in the entire Autumn Statement document is to confirm the budget of the Brexit Department.
That’s simply not good enough.
Welfare cuts will continue as planned
The Autumn Statement has confirmed that all welfare cuts planned between now and 2020 will go ahead. That means cuts to housing benefit, disability benefits and tax credits for low income families.
No new measures to support the oil and gas sector
The SNP has consistently called for further action to support Scotland’s oil and gas sector. Action is required to support increased production in sites nearing decommissioning, to help the sector attract capital investment and to support exploration.
The Chancellor has chosen to take no further action to support the industry.