Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MP Angus MacNeil has said that Rishi Sunak’s Tory budget is a missed opportunity which will leave many people disappointed and definitely doesn’t address the damage of Brexit, far less to deal with Covid properly. 

Commenting Mr MacNeil said:

“This again was a budget for big business, wheeler dealers and people who believe Covid will be history by the summer. In Scotland we are a country of medium sized businesses, honest traders and people who accept the reality of Covid which means this budget did little for us in Scotland. We also know that the worst affected part of Europe by the Tories crazy Brexit idea is the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. The budget definitely did nothing for that.

“One thing the budget does show is that Governments such as the UK Government, who print their own currency,  can and will print that currency and shake what is called the magic money tree. This only underlines the wasted decade of Tory austerity when so much could have been done. 

“The budget sadly gives nothing new to the NHS or the education system. For as long as Scotland remains devolved it is not going to see the funds to help these essential public services as a result. As in devolution, Scotland’s spending is a consequence of the choices of Westminster. Fortunately for the likes of Portugal, Ireland, or Norway their spending choices are not dictated to by their immediate neighbours.  

“On Universal Credit, money that is the most recycled in the economy, it is already at a very low base compared to countries like Ireland, which is why footballers like Marcus Rashford become politically involved in trying to prevent malnutrition in children in a western country. The £20 uplift is indeed meagre, and it is very miserly to only say it is for 6 months. 

“Sadly, the UK government could not match the Scottish government which has already gone much further in support for businesses and households, with 100% rates relief, Council Tax frozen and a 5-year capital investment plan.

“The only way for Scotland to get what it votes for is to firstly vote for independence. If we continue like this, we will just end up training yet another generation that what we have to cope with is extremist economics from the Tory party in bad times and in good.”