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Tories Try to Repair Own Economic Damage with Phoney Budget

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Categories: Constituency, Economics, UK Government (Westminster)

Stirling Households and Businesses Still Worse Off from Tory Incompetence

Local Stirling MP Alyn Smith has condemned the latest UK Government budget announcement as ‘far too little, too late’ for the vast majority of households and businesses across Stirling – as soaring bills continue to outpace the meagre help on offer in this week’s Autumn Statement.

October marked one year since the calamitous ‘mini-budget’ by the short-lived Government of Liz Truss, sparking economic chaos and mortgage meltdown for millions of households and severely damaging UK finances. With families left paying thousands more for their energy bills, mortgages, rents and food shopping, Mr Smith says the most recent budget update from UK Chancellor Jeremy Hunt was ‘a missed opportunity to back business and help households’.

In an underwhelming budget, the Chancellor:

  • Failed to introduce a £400 energy bill rebate for households – despite bills being around double what they were in 2021 and expected to rise yet again this week
  • Failed to match the SNP government’s council tax freeze and Scottish Child Payment – which are putting thousands of pounds back in the pockets of families in Scotland
  • Failed to introduce mortgage interest tax relief – despite many families paying thousands of pounds more in interest due to soaring rates
  • Failed to take action to reduce food prices – despite countries like France intervening to help families with their grocery bills
  • Failed to reverse real terms Tory cuts to public sector pay for millions of workers

Stirling MP Alyn Smith said:

‘The overall tax burden faced by businesses and families across Stirling is far too high. This is only made worse through ‘fiscal drag’ – Government not increasing the amount you can earn before paying tax – means millions across Scotland and the UK are falling into higher tax-bands through stealth.

‘I am not against tax – it underpins everything the state does, and represents the social contract between citizens and their government. But too many people and businesses in Stirling feel the contract is broken – that their money is wasted, their services are diminished and the only thing increasing is the number of budget cuts their community faces.

‘This all stems from dysfunctional markets, designed by broken institutions and underpinned by a flawed political system. You can’t cut your way to growth. You must raise productivity – through decent healthcare, affordable housing, world-class education, connected transport and digital infrastructure, smart investment and a detailed industrial strategy.  The UK economy is stuck in a doom-loop with the Westminster Punch and Judy Show more interested in gimmicks than the wholesale change we need.

‘The Scottish Government and local councils have limited powers at their disposal. We’re all caught in a vortex of UK cuts and corruption we didn’t vote for, and yet has a disproportionate impact on all of our lives. Westminster continues to politically and economically dominate us all. Stirling deserves better; Scotland deserves better. And we can begin building systems which deliver the outcomes we want to see with independence in Europe.’