23 August 2019

SNP deputy leader Keith Brown has backed an austerity programme for an independent Scotland that would impose deeper cuts than even George Osborne pursued.

Writing in the National today (Friday), Brown has backed more than halving Scotland’s fiscal deficit from 7 to 3 per cent in “less than three years”.

This could mean deeper and faster cuts imposed on Scotland by the SNP than even George Osborne dared to do in his time in the Treasury.

"The then-Tory Chancellor halved the UK’s deficit within a five-year period through a punishing austerity programme, in contrast Brown wants to more than halve Scotland’s in less than three years.

"The SNP deputy leader’s austerity plans are even more extreme than the cuts imposed on Greece in the wake of the financial crisis.

"Greece’s budgetary deficit only reduced to less than half after five years.

It is now clear the SNP’s plan for Scotland is to leave the UK and impose Tory turbo-charged austerity on our communities.

Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard said:

“It is now clear that the SNP’s plan for independence would mean deeper and faster cuts to Scotland’s public services.

“The SNP’s plan to leave the UK is based on a prospectus of shock austerity on Scotland twinned with ditching the pound for a separate currency.

“All of Scotland’s public services, including our NHS, would be in the SNP’s firing line to meet such draconian fiscal targets.

“The people of Scotland now have a clear choice between austerity and cuts with the SNP and the Tories, or £70 billion worth of new investment with a Labour government.

“Under Labour, the wealthiest will pay more to fund our NHS, schools and local services.

"And we will continue to benefit from the Barnett Formula and the pooling and sharing of resources across the UK.

Only Labour will invest in our people, our communities and industries, and shift the balance of power so that our economy and society work in the interests of the many, not the few.”
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