MP welcomes North Sea Oil boost – but slams budget direction

Angus Robertson - welcomed some budget measures
Angus Robertson – welcomed some budget measures

THE UK GOVERNMENT has been accused of ‘failing Moray’ in the latest budget measures revealed by George Osborne on Wednesday.

That is the view of local MP Angus Robertson, who although welcoming some of the measures in the Chancellor’s speech insisted that his overall direction was “simply wrong”.

Mr Robertson said that reductions in oil taxation was a welcome move while the freeze on fuel duty would also be of significant help to people in Scotland – however, he insisted that in many other ways the budget was not good news for his constituents.

“George Osborne’s is failing Moray,” the MP said, adding: “He is failing Scotland and it is failing the UK as a whole – continued austerity budgets are simply not working.

“The Chancellor has continually failed to meet his own economic targets and it is simply not credible to keep doing the same thing and expect a different outcome.

“Yes, I welcome the reductions in taxation of the North Sea oil and gas sector, which is under pressure and needed a boost and I also welcome the freeze on fuel duty – these are measures that the SNP has campaigned vigorously for – but overall austerity budgeting is simply wrong.

“This Tory austerity is through choice, not necessity. The SNP has set out a balanced alternative to austerity, which would return the public finances to a sustainable path whilst continuing to invest in public services and supporting the most vulnerable in our society.”

Mr Robertson said that an SNP budget would increase spending on public services by 0.5% in real terms between now and 2020 – releasing over £150billion to invest in public services, adding that their plan had “international support and credibility”.

He said: “The OECD’s Economic Outlook endorsed this very plan, arguing that a commitment to raising public investment collectively would boost demand while remaining on a sustainable path.

“We have already seen thousands of families in Moray being left worse off by welfare and tax credit cuts and there seems to be no sign of that letting up, going by this week’s budget statement.”