UK Gov Finance Bill 'timid and unimaginative'

Published on Tuesday, 16 April 2013 09:57
Posted by Vicki Mitchem

Speaking in today's Finance Bill debate at Westminster which enacts the measures of Chancellor George Osborne's budget Stewart Hosie MP, SNP Treasury spokesperson said:

"This Finance Bill follows hot on the heels of a miserable budget, and merely continues the failed policies of this Government.  George Osborne's Plan A has failed.  Borrowing - meant to fall – is up.  The UK's debt is worse than predicted, and of course it is all against a backdrop of the UK's loss of Triple-A credit rating.

"It is as timid and unimaginative a Finance Bill as was the budget, which does not address the essential need to get growth back into the economy.

"The Chancellor has failed because he continues down the path of deep cuts and tax rises - that includes a 20 per cent real terms cut to the Scottish capital budget over the four year spending review period, and a hard cash cut of £103.5 million to Scotland now.

"While it does increase tax allowances for those paying the 20p rate, we also know the threshold for the 40p rate has fallen sharply, drawing hundreds of thousands more people into a higher rate of tax – the middle is not so much being squeezed as garrotted by this Government."

Commenting on specific measures the Government could have used to help deliver growth Stewart Hosie said:

"Scotland suffers disproportionately from the damaging Air Passenger Duty (APD), a tax which is becoming increasingly unpopular with the aviation industry across Europe, and with Scottish tourism and commerce.  We have consistently made the case for devolution of APD and are getting increasingly frustrated by the UK government's prevarication.  By increasing it again - now to the highest such duty in Europe and refusing to devolve it, as it has been already to Northern Ireland - the UK government shows once again that it does not understand the aviation challenges facing Scotland.

"George Osborne's fourth failed budget shows how important it is to get the tax and welfare powers we would have with independence, following a Yes vote next September."

Source: SNP

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