Budget 2021: ‘Scotland deserves better’ claims Labour shadow chancellor

Today, we needed a Budget for a secure economy and a real recovery for Scotland. Instead, we got a Chancellor disconnected from the reality of a growing cost of living crisis.

As energy bills soar, he piled the biggest tax burden in peacetime on working people.

As the world gathers in Glasgow to strike a deal to avert a climate emergence, he gave a tax cut to bankers to take short-haul flights while sipping champagne.

And the consequences couldn’t be clearer. A decade of sluggish growth. Public services cut to the bone. Billions of pounds of taxpayer money wasted.

And no plan to boost our economy.

But the reality is that working people are paying more for less for three simple reasons. Economic mismanagement. An unfair tax system. And wasteful spending.

Scotland deserves better.

For too long, it has faced the economic consequences of two bad governments.

Over 121,000 Scots are unemployed and the country’s manufacturing base has been hollowed out.

As we recover from the pandemic, we have a chance to seize new opportunities and shape a new future for Scotland and the rest of Britain.

But they’ll never get it under a Chancellor who gives with one hand, but takes so much more with the other.

People are getting wise to this. Every month they feel the pinch.

They are tired of the smoke and mirrors, of the bluster, of the false dawns, of the promises of jam tomorrow.

The solution starts with growth.

Labour would put working people first. The Government is caught in a bind of its own making.

Low growth leads to less money for public services unless taxes rise.

Labour would use the power of government and business to create the next generation of quality jobs right here, in Britain.

We’d tax fairly, spend wisely and after a decade of faltering growth, we’d get Britain’s economy firing on all cylinders.

That is what a Labour budget would have done today.

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