Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MP Angus MacNeil slammed yesterday’s UK Government Budget as a budget of admission and confession.
After attending the Budget Statement by Chancellor of the Exchequer, Jeremy Hunt, in the House of Commons yesterday, Mr MacNeil said: “This budget was a long series of confessions from Jeremy Hunt on how the Tories have failed over the last few years. Despite the ever-changing approaches to corporation tax, it looks like business investment in the UK is well behind its counterparts in other sensible European countries.
“For households, when the average electricity bill is far higher in Scotland than the rest of the UK, the Chancellor offered very little to energy-rich Scotland. This is particularly galling in a constituency such as mine where the level of fuel poverty is high and especially when we have the capacity to generate so much energy.
“The budget also made no mention of the Rural Fuel Rebate on which I have been pressing the UK Government for some time for an increase from 5p a litre to 10p a litre.
“The Office of Budget Responsibility (OBR) called it the ‘mañana’ budget with all these promises being something to come in future years, probably long after the Tories have left office, therefore making it utterly meaningless.
“Very saliently it has been pointed out that the budget, if it works, is only 0.2% boost to GDP. This contrasts with Brexit, which is costing the UK economy 25 times more than that.
“The best thing that can happen to the UK economy is for Labour and the Tories is to confess and abandon and admit they have made a mistake on Brexit which is damaging people’s jobs, livelihoods, food costs and general household bills.
"Brexit has been a disaster and the UK Government is ill-equipped to deal with it.
“As a backdrop in London, there were tube strikes, reflecting the many other strikes up and down the UK as workers struggle to get a decent pay.
"I do note that in an independent Ireland, the workers aren’t striking because they are earning far better. Independence pays and pays in the pay packet.”