A plan to put cash in people’s pockets
Against the backdrop of the continuing Brexit shambles, next Monday sees the UK chancellor, Philip Hammond, bring forward his Budget for the year ahead.
The SNP has called on the UK government to use this Budget to deliver a major boost to incomes – warning millions of families have suffered a “Tory decade of decline” in living standards as a result of austerity cuts and Brexit.
The Tory record on living standards has been utterly miserable – with rising poverty and inequality, real wages falling, social security slashed, and increased living costs leaving many families struggling to get by.
The UK government has an opportunity to genuinely end austerity, and get behind the SNP’s five-point plan to reverse the decline and put cash in people’s pockets by:
Introducing the real Living Wage – The Chancellor can end a decade of decline by injecting much-needed investment into improving household incomes by lifting the benefit freeze, introducing a real Living Wage for all workers and abolishing the discriminatory minimum wage rates for younger people thereby boosting wages for the lowest paid.
Halting and changing Universal Credit – reinstating the pre-2015 work allowances, lifting the benefit freeze, scrapping the two-child cap, cutting sanctions, and reintroducing the Employment Support Allowance and Work Related Activity severe disability premium.
Reversing the cuts to housing support – By abolishing the bedroom tax and reversing their cuts to housing support, the UK government would tackle one of the single biggest living costs.
Reducing energy costs – introducing a meaningful cap on energy bills, maintaining the fuel duty freeze, and introducing a fuel duty regulator. Reducing energy costs would tackle the scandal of low income families and pensioners having to choose between heating their homes and putting food on the table.
Ruling out a hard Brexit – committing to single market and customs union membership to avoid decades of damage to incomes and living standards.
Millions of families have suffered from years of failed Tory austerity cuts that have seen real wages fall, social security payments slashed, living costs rise, and the majority of families left poorer and worse off than they would have been a decade ago.
Added to that, the Tories’ incompetent handling of EU negotiations leaves us facing an extreme Brexit that will deliver a body blow to incomes and living costs across Scotland.
Short of staying in the EU, as Scotland voted for, the only way to protect jobs and prosperity is to retain our membership of the single market and customs union.
The Chancellor should rule out any Brexit deal that would damage living standards by taking us out of the single market.
While the Westminster parties only offer despair and chaos with their plans for a hard Brexit and further austerity, the SNP are giving hope with progressive policies to boost incomes and take Scotland forward.
The only way to protect jobs and prosperity is to retain our membership of the single market and customs union
Chancellor All eyes will be on Philip Hammond ahead of his budget next week