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Time to end austerity

Published: 6 Nov 2016 00:01
Part of:
Economy

First Minister makes the case for new UK economic policy.

The UK Government must reverse its austerity policies and give people more grounds for hope, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon will say tomorrow.

In a major speech in Sheffield, the First Minister will challenge the UK government to address some of the underlying causes of the vote to leave the European Union.

Ms Sturgeon will speak at the Sheffield Political Economy Research Institute, on “Scotland and the UK: economic policy after the EU referendum” and will tell a sold-out audience of 1200 people that the vote to leave the European Union was also a vote against the damage done by the austerity policies of the UK Government.

In a major anti-austerity speech, the First Minister will set out an alternative economic policy and urge the Chancellor to support inclusive growth, to invest in jobs and to back our public services.

Setting out the need to learn the lessons of the EU referendum result and to invest in inclusive growth, Ms Sturgeon will say that:

“We need to demonstrate that being open to free trade and free movement isn’t just good for the economy as a whole. It benefits individuals and communities too. It creates, rather than curtails new opportunities for everyone. And it can lead to a society which is more prosperous, more inclusive, and more cohesive.”

“Austerity has already caused huge social harm and brought no economic benefit – it has failed, categorically and comprehensively, on its own terms.

“We know that people on low incomes were more likely to vote to leave the European Union, as were areas with low employment rates. UK economic policy has just not given enough people, enough grounds for hope.

“While the UK Government may have abandoned its original debt reduction target, the pain for working people is set still continue - the Resolution Foundation estimates working families on low incomes will be worse off in the years ahead as a direct result of both austerity and Brexit.

“So the Chancellor of the Exchequer needs to change course in his Autumn Statement in a fortnight to invest in the economy and support public services, offering hope for the future rather than playing on the fears of the present.”

Background

On Monday, the First Minister will also visit the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre, a world leading research facility run by the University of Sheffield which could serve as a model for the Scottish Government’s planned National Manufacturing Institute for Scotland.