Chancellor under fire
Sunak blasted for 320-word speech to Tory conference
Chancellor Rishi Sunak has been accused of showing disdain for Scotland after delivering a brief speech full of self-congratulation to the Scottish Conservative party conference.
Mr Sunak’s address, delivered remotely to delegates attending the conference in Aberdeen, lasted for two minutes and 16 seconds.
In a pre-recorded message containing just 320 words, Mr Sunak hailed the UK Government’s levelling up agenda and re-iterated the financial support given to Scotland during the pandemic.
He said: “The UK Government has a plan to deliver opportunity and growth in every part of our country.”
But SNP MSP Rona Mackay said the Chancellor’s short address “perfectly demonstrates Westminster Tory disdain for the people of Scotland.”
Ms Mackay said: “In the middle of a crushing cost of living crisis the man who holds the purse strings thinks it’s appropriate to devote just two minutes of his time to his own Scottish party conference.
“In a speech stuffed with shameless self-praise, Sunak provided not a single word of comfort or hope to thousands of hard-pressed Scottish families facing increasing financial uncertainty.
“This speech was nothing short of insulting and perfectly demonstrates Westminster Tory disdain for the people of Scotland.”
Rishi Sunak’s full speech:
It is great to be able to speak to all of you at Scottish Conservative Conference today.
Two years ago, we faced the greatest challenge of many of our lifetimes. And in response we pulled together our resources as one United Kingdom to get through it.
Together we protected over one million Scottish jobs, provided loans and grants to almost 100,000 Scottish businesses and delivered £14.5 billion in additional funding for Scotland’s public services.
When our country needed it most, the might of the UK Treasury was placed at the disposal of every citizen, wherever they lived.
And our actions paid off, not only are we now one of the most open societies in Europe but also the fastest growing economy in the G7.
Yet as we look to the future and continue our recovery, we cannot go back to the failed economic model of the past, with low productivity and deep inequality across our country.
We must chart a new course together; one that delivers greater opportunity in every region and every community.
That is why this UK Government is committed to levelling up, and we are already taking action. At the Budget, I announced £173 million for 13 Scottish projects from Whithorn to Inverness as part of our Levelling Up and Community Ownership funds. £150 million for the British Business Bank to help small and medium sized Scottish businesses to grow and access to the £1.4 billion Global Britain Investment Fund to secure international investment into Scotland.
And just last month we announced up to £52million for the delivery of two Scottish freeports.
The UK Government has a plan to deliver opportunity and growth in every part of our country. And it is a plan that we want Scotland to share in, to drive, to lead.
After all we have been through, let’s build that brighter, more prosperous future for the whole of the United Kingdom together.