Parliamentary Debates

Economy

Dennis Robertson (Aberdeenshire West) (SNP):  On 7 May, the people have a choice to make. They will vote for more austerity from the Tories, more austerity from the Labour Party, more austerity from the Lib Dems or a new way from the SNP, which will be able to influence the direction of travel in the hung Parliament. Nicola Sturgeon has the highest poll ratings, even in England.

We have another choice: Osborne, Balls or John Swinney to promote his plans to take Scotland forward. This economy debate is not just about what is happening in the UK but about what is best for Scotland. Scotland will be £12 billion worse off from the budget because Labour has supported the Tories and the Lib Dems once again to ensure that there is a £30 billion austerity cut. Labour members cannot run away from that. It is a fact and is on the record. There will be a £30 billion cut, more austerity and a £12 billion cut to Scotland from the budget.

Let us look at who has been paying the price for the remarkable and superb term of office for which the Conservatives and the Lib Dems are applauding themselves. It is the most vulnerable and poorest in our society.

Let us look at the welfare cuts and the sanctions that the Department for Work and Pensions has imposed in Scotland. Who stepped in to try to mitigate some of their impact? The Scottish Government did so. No one else has, but we have mitigated many of the cuts that are coming to Scotland. We should not be using the money to mitigate cuts; we should be using it to create a progressive outlook for our economy.

To try to ensure that our economy is prosperous and moves forward, the Scottish Government has put money into capital investments and infrastructure in Scotland, which has created jobs. In my constituency, we have the Inveramsay bridge, the Alford academy campus and the A96. Programmes are taking the economy forward and assisting the construction industry. We are moving forward with a progressive plan.

The plan that Mr Swinney and the First Minister have for a hung Parliament is the one that the Scots will adopt on 7 May because, as we know from the polls, Labour, the Conservatives and the Lib Dems are nowhere to be seen in Scotland. We will have many SNP MPs in Westminster influencing the direction of travel for the benefit of Scotland, because that is what the Scottish Parliament requires to ensure that it implements a plan to benefit Scotland, not to bring it back into austerity.

 

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