LSE address

Yousaf to address LSE on ‘building prosperity’

Humza Yousaf
Humza Yousaf: the budget sacrificed public services (pic: Terry Murden / DB Media Services)

First Minister Humza Yousaf will tell a London audience this week that Scotland is being let down by the UK government which has put tax cuts ahead of improving public services.

In an address entitled “building prosperity through economic dynamism” at the London School of Economics, Mr Yousaf will say that an independent and more economically stable Scotland could have a positive impact on the wider UK.

The First Minister will discuss the relative success of European countries comparable to Scotland, which he wil say benefit from a model grounded in the combination of social solidarity and economic dynamism.

He is expected to outline the “consequences” of the UK Government’s Budget and the continuing impact of Brexit on the economy.

Speaking ahead of the event, hosted by the European Institute, the First Minister said: “The Scottish Government’s view is that this was a budget that sacrificed public services, like our NHS, in favour of unsustainable tax cuts.

“When more support is desperately needed for public services and struggling households are crying out for greater cost of living support – Scotland has been badly let down by the UK Government.”

Mr Yousaf will highlight the Scottish Government’s determination to focus on attracting investment, enterprise and innovation, as well as highlighting Scotland’s economic potential compared to similar European countries.

“This week I will make the case for a better future for Scotland but also reemphasise the positive impact that an independent and more economically stable Scotland could have on the wider UK,” he said.

“That, after all, is surely what politics and political leadership is all about – building a better future for the people we serve.”

The UK government says that its tax cuts will help stimulate growth and that the Chancellor announced a multi-billion plan to modernise public services, including the NHS and the police which will achieve savings and improve delivery.

The SNP has also turned on Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer, challenging him to say which public services will be cut if he forms the next government.

Its comments come after the Institute for Fiscal Studies warned of a “conspiracy of silence” between the Tories and Labour Party over where more than £18 billion of cuts will come from.

SNP Westminster Leader Stephen Flynn said: “Sir Keir Starmer must come clean over where the axe will fall under damaging Labour Party plans for another decade of austerity cuts to public services.

“The SNP will strongly oppose Starmer’s plans to impose Tory fiscal rules and a staggering £18bn of cuts to frontline services. The UK government has already slashed Scotland’s budget – and now Starmer must admit what services he plans to cut to the bone.

“Voters in Scotland will be appalled that Starmer is in lockstep with the Tories on cuts and Brexit. Labour MPs are right to be anxious that voters won’t forgive them if they are the midwives of austerity 2.0.

“It shows why it’s vital Scotland has a strong SNP voice to stand up for Scotland’s values and challenge Starmer’s reckless Tory plans.”

Reeves says growth key to funding public services

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