Local MP Slams UK Government Mismanagement as Recession Confirmed 


Categories: Economics, Inequality, Local Business, UK Government (Westminster)

Stirling Businesses and Households Face Further Economic Pressure

Stirling MP Alyn Smith has condemned the UK Government’s handling of the economy, as fresh analysis from the Office for National Statistics revealed UK GDP fell 0.3% in the three months to December, undercut by a collapse in retail sales in the run-up to Christmas.

The disappointing figures follow a drop of 0.1% in the third quarter of 2023, confirming a second consecutive quarter of falling national output – the technical definition of a recession.

Businesses and households across Stirling continue to face increased pressure during the cost of living crisis, even as official inflation figures ease. Energy and food costs remain at record highs relative to a decade ago, whilst UK economic decline will have a tangible impact on Stirling’s local economy through investment freezes, empty commercial properties and further fiscal constraints.

Stirling MP Alyn Smith said:

‘The official figures have caught up with the reality so many households and businesses across Stirling have faced over the past two years. The cost of living crisis has morphed into its new phase – a recession. Whilst at the moment the rate of economic decline is less than we experienced in the exceptional circumstances of the pandemic, many will remember with trepidation the pain of the 2008 recession and the wave of economic misery that followed.

‘The time to act is now. Control over key policy areas such as energy, immigration and trade, as well as crucial borrowing powers, all reside with Westminster. The UK Prime Minister and the UK Government he leads must use the economic powers and levers at their disposal to steady the ship, boost productivity and inclusive growth – or move out of the way, devolve to Scotland what we need and let the Scottish Government get on with it. We’ll need joined-up thinking and a coherent approach to economic growth to fix the economy, protect communities and grow in a sustainable way.

‘Residents in Stirling cannot wait. We need a UK General Election immediately to turf out these chancers and restore economic credibility to an already battered UK. In the end, only independence in Europe will offer Scotland the escape we need from the terminal economic decline we’re seeing under Westminster control.’


Official ONS release