Sunday, 27 November 2016 07:22

TORIES in complete denial over austerity

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Tory Economy spokesperson Dean Lockhart today bizarrely claimed that the Treasury’s continued austerity policy was a “significant stimulus package” and that Tory policy was to grow our way out of debt rather than to cut spending.

Speaking on Good Morning Scotland, Mr Lockhart was challenged on claims that the Autumn Statement was a stimulus package, with host Gordon Brewer pointing out that “Even the Chief Secretary to the Treasury says this wasn’t a fiscal stimulus package”.

Mr Lockhart also claimed that you could reduce debt through tax rises, spending cuts or economic growth – and that the Tories were pursuing the third option.

Even after the slight spending commitments announced in the Autumn Statement, Scotland’s budget will still be around 9% lower across this decade.

Commenting, SNP MSP Ivan McKee:

“The Tories continue to be in complete denial about their failed austerity agenda.

“The Autumn Statement saw the UK government outline the huge impact Brexit is expected to have on the UK economy – and offer only a small mitigation of the cuts to Scotland’s budget that they still plan to pursue.

“The Chancellor offered no support for North Sea industry and, despite the promises made by the Brexiteers, not a single extra penny for the NHS.

“If the Tory economy spokesman thinks that this was a ‘significant stimulus package’, and that the Tories want to grow rather than cut their way out of debt, then he simply can’t have been paying attention since 2010.

“The Autumn Statement was a huge missed opportunity – and shows that the Tories remain as committed to their failed austerity agenda as ever.”


Dean Lockhart: “The key takeaway from the Autumn Statement is the Chancellor has been able to use the strength of the UK economy to provide a significant stimulus package to the UK economy.”

Gordon Brewer: “No he hasn’t.”

DL: “Well he introduced a £23bn productivity plan.”

GB: “Can I just point out to you, I interviewed David Gauke, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, only the other day and he said that the government was not even claiming this was a stimulus package. It’s far too small. It’s simply a bit more investment.”

DL: “Well there are three ways, economically speaking, there are three ways to reduce debt in the economy. First of all you can raise tax, secondly cut spending or you can grow your way out of the deficit, and the UK government policy is to grow our way out of the deficit…”

GB: “Even the Chief Secretary to the Treasury says this wasn’t a fiscal stimulus package.”

DL: “That’s a matter of terminology perhaps.”