Rishi Sunak brutally shuts down SNP over claim 'nothing in Spring Statement for Scotland’

Mr Sunak announced a raft of new measures aimed at improving the economy during his Spring Statement on Wednesday

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Rishi Sunak brutally hit back at a Scottish National Party MP who claimed the Spring Statement does nothing to benefit Scotland.

Mr Sunak announced a wide range of measures intended to stem growing inflation during a speech in the House of Commons on Wednesday.

The measures included a cut to fuel duty, a change to National Insurance rules and an abolishment of VAT on energy efficient materials.

But Alison Thewliss doesn’t believe the changes are enough, adding that she hopes one day the Government will take more notice of Scotland.

Speaking in the Commons, Ms Thewliss said: “This tax plan that the Chancellor has announced it is very thin, it is lightweight and superficial, and it is something we’ve come to expect from this Chancellor.

“What we heard today was not enough, it is utterly detached from the needs of our constituents up and down these islands.

“This has been a cost of living crisis that has been over a decade in the making.

“Austerity which stripped back public services and punished people through brittle social security cuts.

SNP MP, Alison Thewliss
SNP MP, Alison Thewliss

“Brexit, which has driven away skilled workers and increased costs for businesses and individuals.

“Covid, where we saw public money splurged in its billions on contracts, while some people were entirely excluded from support.”

She added: “And now those who did receive support are expected to pay tax on it just to add insult to injury.

“Now the energy costs, which were already soaring before the increase in hostilities in Ukraine are running households to the brink.

“Inflation running at 6.2 percent, its highest in 30 years is hitting the poorest hardest.

“Food prices rising, especially for the basics and food banks are seeing a record number of people coming through their doors.”

She continued her rant by saying: “The Chancellor said he’s going to increase the household support fund, but is that it? Because people are going to need much more than that.

“The Scottish Government by contrast is doing what it can within its limited budget to support people.

“People face a crisis that the Chancellor could have done more to avert but he has made a choice in many ways not to act.

“There is nothing in today’s announcement for Scotland and we look forward to the day where Scotland has a government with full fiscal powers to make sure that all of our people have a decent standard or living and no one goes to bed with an empty tummy and a cold room.”

Mr Sunak replied by backing his new measures, before turning the question back onto the SNP.

He said: “Maybe she missed the part of the UK-wide fuel duty cut, which will save a typical driver £100 this year and a typical van driver £200.

“Maybe she missed the part about the largest increase to personal tax thresholds ever, a £6billion tax cut, which will help 2.4 million people in Scotland.

“Or indeed the 75,000 businesses that will benefit from the employment allowance, again a £1,000 tax cut coming in shortly.

“What I didn’t hear from her was whether the SNP are going to deliver the same income tax cut for Scottish taxpayers that the UK Government is delivering as paid for in these numbers in 2024.”