Labour leader Ed Miliband has announced that the Labour party will support the Tories in their Deficit reduction programme in a vote in the House of Cooms tomorrow. This will result in the next round of austerity cuts being confirmed with a Charter for Budget Responsibility being set up to bind the next Westminster government to further cuts and more austerity.
The SNP’s Deputy Leader and Treasury spokesperson Stewart Hosie MP commented: “There is deep concern that the UK Government Charter for Budget Responsibility simply sets in stone further draconian cuts. Repeating the failed mistakes of the past trying to cut the deficit on a fixed timescale taking no consideration of shocks which might hit the economy. George Osborne promised that debt would fall this year and that the economy would be back in the black next year. But we now know none of his targets will be met."
Continuing Mr Hosie said: "Tory policy of a fixed term approach to deficit reduction has strangled the recovery and with £75 billion of cuts and tax rises still to come the inescapable conclusion is that austerity has failed. This is less a change to the Charter for Budget Responsibility and more a plan for further attacks on the welfare budget and cover to balance the books on the back of the poor and take public spending levels back to those of the 1930s. With 22% of Scottish children in poverty, with 11% of our pensioners in poverty and with 21% of our working age adults in poverty – to launch a further attack on welfare at this time under the guise of amending the Charter for Budget Responsibility is simply wrong."
"The Tories plan for future austerity which changes the ratio of cuts to tax rises from 4:1 to 9:1, to effectively try to balance the books on the backs of the poor, cannot be right. Austerity has strangled the recovery and while Labour have said they will support this measure, the SNP will not." Stewart Hosie Added.
As the polls are suggesting that the SNP may well be in a position to hold the balance of power in a hung parliament. Alex Salmond has already ruled out doing any sort of deal with the Conservative party over their austerity policies and their attitude towards Scotland. As now the Labour party are signing up to same austerity policies, the question must now be will the SNP be ruling out a deal with Labour too?