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Eilidh Whiteford, MP for Banff & Buchan

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Westminster Offers Only More Austerity and More Cuts

Monday, 24 June 2013

As the Tory/Liberal Democrat coalition prepares to outline its latest round of massive public spending cuts on Wednesday in the Comprehensive Spending Review and lays out the next ten years of Westminster austerity and cuts - which Labour now support – Banff & Buchan MP Dr Eilidh Whiteford commented:

"The Comprehensive Spending Review will be the perfect opportunity for this downgraded Chancellor to get some desperately needed growth back into the economy. But we know that will not happen. George Osborne has staked the entire reputation of the UK Government on aggressive deficit reduction - regardless of the dreadful economic and social cost but he has categorically failed - and on some measures borrowing is actually rising. He refuses to listen to the IMF amongst others about easing off on Westminster's aggressive cuts programme.

"In Scotland, we have lower unemployment than the UK, higher employment, and we now have one of the lowest youth unemployment rates anywhere in the EU. The Scottish government is now taking decisions that are creating real opportunities , including major infrastructure projects at colleges in Glasgow, Inverness and Kilmarnock - the new South Glasgow Hospital development and of course the new Forth Crossing . Meanwhile George Osborne talks about shovel ready projects but fails to deliver.

"If the Chancellor and his government spent his time looking at what is happening in Scotland rather than lecturing and scaremongering, perhaps the rest of the UK might see some improvements too. On Wednesday Mr Osborne will continue down his chosen road of cuts, cuts and more cuts with a lost decade of austerity facing us all, and depressingly Labour's Ed Balls has signed up to the Osborne vision by vowing to keep the Tory cuts and add to them in the unlikely event Labour are ever re-elected. Labour's Cuts Commission want to remove the bus pass for over-60s and free personal care.

"The Scottish Government is delivering important measures right now within their limited powers which are helping, but the way to get Scottish businesses moving again and get real growth back into the economy is to have the economic and financial powers of an independent Scotland - which is why a Yes vote in the autumn 2014 referendum is so important."

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