SNP attack Tory budget as ‘sermon from an austerity cult’

The SNP’s comments come as new figures suggest almost half of families in Scotland could be left struggling if plans to cut working tax credits go ahead


The SNP has declared that the first Tory only budget in almost 20 years will amount to a ‘sermon from an austerity cult’.

Following a weekend in which the chancellor outlined a host of areas he intended to cut around welfare and the BBC, the SNP’s deputy leader and treasury spokesperson Stewart Hosie has made clear that the SNP plans to use its mandate to fight the government’s plans.

Speaking ahead of Wednesday’s statement, Hosie declared:

“George Osborne will set out his plans on Wednesday to cut further and deeper than he needs to in the first blue blooded Tory budget for twenty years.

“We know the scale of spending cuts coming our way as the chancellor set them out in his budget in March – and we know that the cuts he is planning significantly exceed what is actually required to meet his own fiscal targets.”

He continued:

“Working to deliver an economy in balance rather than surplus would provide the flexibility to deliver up to £93 billion of cumulative additional investment over the next four years.

“Our concern is that the Chancellor will not use this flexibility wisely and will repeat the mistakes of the last parliament adding to the terrible damage the Tories have inflicted over the last five years.

“This will be a budget less about boosting productivity and growth – more a sermon from an austerity cult – cutting where it is not necessary and weakening further the chance of a sustained recovery.”

Referring to the SNP’s mandate at the UK General Election, Hosie concluded:

‘’The SNP won an unprecedented mandate from the people of Scotland to reject Westminster’s austerity agenda and to get the economic levers the Scottish parliament requires.

“This week will see the SNP continue to reject the unnecessary cuts and austerity so damaging to communities and families across the country.’’

The SNP’s comments come as new figures suggest that almost half of all families in Scotland could be left struggling if plans to cut working tax credits go ahead.

Barnardo’s Scotland has calculated that 49.1 per cent of families in Scotland currently use working tax credits to top up low incomes, which, they note, help them ‘buy essentials such as food and clothing for their family’.

Launching the charity’s new campaign calling on the UK government to keep the ‘lifeline’ benefit, Mark Ballard, Head of Policy for Barnardo’s Scotland said:

“The UK government has promised to improve support for working families so that parents do not have to choose between feeding their families and heating their homes.

“Unfortunately, the reality is increasing numbers of working parents are struggling to stay above the breadline, and any proposed cuts to the benefits they rely on will only make things worse. Low paid parents with dependent children rely on tax credits to make up the difference between what they earn and what they need to get by.”

Ed Jacobs is a contributing editor to Left Foot Forward. Follow him on Twitter

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23 Responses to “SNP attack Tory budget as ‘sermon from an austerity cult’”

  1. Selohesra

    The SNP did indeed win an unprecedented mandate in Scotland – however as they received fewer votes than UKIP I don’t think they hold much sway over UK. Perhaps they should consider standing in English constituencies in 2020

  2. Stephen Bee

    Rather have SNP attacking The Tories than UKIP (Tories by any other name)

  3. Torybushhug

    The lefts state client landscape inculcates this sense of the Gov’t being the provider to the citizens life. The citizen is consigned to the roll of passenger. Go onto moneysavingexpert site and see poster after poster discussing ways of maximising their entailment such that a couple employed making £8k each, end up on a net income of £29600 per year, and many examples of people saying how to get your child defined as having special needs so the parents can get carers allowance and much more besides. Their whole focus is on dependency and entitlement, not planning and betterment through delayed gratification.

    What fascinates me is how the Tories are rolling back this dependency and entitlement landscape and cutting taxes, so a whole new society is being conditioned much more to the Protestant self responsibility model.

    This is boxing Labour into a corner because in another 5 years people will be much more used to self responsibility and lower taxes. Are Labour going to then be able to argue we need to go back to high taxes and making people into drone state client’s? I don’t think so. People will look back on the squalid mass dependency / feccckless society with horror.

  4. Helen T

    But remember the SNP only won 56 seats because of 1st past the post. 50% of Scots did not vote for them and do not agree with their posturing. And Independence for Scotland would harm Scottish families far more (not that I am a fan of the Tories or their policies, but it is only the disingenuous that believe the SNP care about those at the bottom of the heap!

  5. Torybushhug

    ‘’The SNP won an unprecedented mandate from the people of Scotland to reject Westminster’s austerity agenda”

    The Tories have a mandate to eradicate the horrendous mass dependency culcharr. Polls all show welfare reform is very popular indeed. Tories and UKIP got the largest vote share.

    + Poorest paying ever less tax as the threshold goes up
    + Wages rising faster than inflation
    + More jobs created than in the rest of EU put together

    There’s more to life than benefits. Under your model mass dependency and !!!!lessness spreads like wildfire. The good people of Britain know this would be a terminal decline.


    The SNP want to borrow more from the International bankers and they refuse to raise tax from the rich. They have frozen the council tax. The rich in Scotland are getting even more richer so you should add them to the Tory and UKIP list. And the hypocrites took the 10k rise without a murmour.
    And what is it with that Palestine islamic badge crap!

  7. stevep

    “The protestant self-responsibility model”. Presumably the workhouse will make it`s re-appearance somewhere along the line of your thinking.

  8. Joe Bloggs

    Tax credits are the main benefit, and huge source of cash to Eastern Europeans working here.
    I don’t see why we should sustain their families still living in Poland.
    This government cannot restrict benefits to EU citizens living here, so I suspect that in trying to make the UK less attractive to immigrants, British citizens have to take the hit too.

  9. stevep

    The Tories scraped in with an unexpected (even to David Cameron) tiny majority, for the first time in 23 years. UKIP won one seat.
    Wow, now the Right are motoring!
    Even with the amount of vile spin the far-right are generating to justify their heinous austerity doctrine, voters already realise they were duped.
    In the words of the Who`s Pete Townshend: ” We won`t get fooled again!”

  10. stevep

    In the words of the Who`s Pete Townshend: ” We won`t get fooled again!”
    In the words of the Who`s Pete Townshend: ” We won`t get fooled again!”
    In the words of the Who`s Pete Townshend: ” We won`t get fooled again!”
    In the words of the Who`s Pete Townshend: ” We won`t get fooled again!”

  11. Rick

    The SNP are a very small minority party in the Commons and the Scotts are a small minority of the population of the UK !!

    And as someone else pointed out, they got fewer votes than UKIP.

  12. Charlatans

    Please do not tell these figures are true? Total lunacy!

  13. Charlatans

    Please do not tell these figures are true? Total lunacy!

  14. Charlatans

    Please do not tell these figures are true? Total lunacy!

  15. Keith M

    Wait until the anoles who voted tory start to get clobbered.

  16. Keith M

    They are a majority in their own country.

  17. Keith M

    The Tories would love that.


    The SNP did take more seats but do remember the majority voted to remain in the Union. The SNP MPs will be drawn into Westminser with their inflated salaries and lifestyles. The working Class will kiss their arses.

  19. RolftheGanger

    Up to the old Unionist lying deception of counting non-voters, the absent and the dead as Unionists automatically, because they dod not actually vote SNP.

  20. RolftheGanger

    Excellent argument for ending the Union.

  21. RoyB

    The central problem here is low wages, not high benefits, which is why benefit caps hit the working poor hardest. There needs to be a much fairer distribution of income in the UK and perhaps one way forward to achieve that would be to cap the ratio of top to bottom earnings, rather than cap benefits. Most advanced economies do not have the massive gap between top and bottom that exists in the UK, there again, most economies haven’t ventured so far along the road of neo-liberalism.

  22. RoyB

    Could the anti-austerity wing of the Labour Party (ie most of the membership outside the Westminster bubble) join together with the SNP and other progressives to form an anti-austerity alliance?

  23. treborc

    Nice to see the SNP now taking on the roll of the labour party, as Reeves and her Progress mob tried to get voters to vote Tory, that is the only way one can see it.

    Reeves labour is the party of workers not welfare or benefits, considering how many workers get welfare it was a total bollocks from her.

    Now labour must pay the price, and it could be a long long time out of power.

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