MEASURES ANNOUNCED BY the UK Chancellor will strike at the poorest in low-pay communities such as Moray.
That is the view being expressed this week by Moray’s MP Angus Robertson, who insists that the Autumn Statement demonstrated a “staggering level” of borrowing that would be required to fill the black hole left by Brexit.
Items such as the rise in insurance premium tax will mean more pressure on families in Moray, while the Office for Budget Responsibility is predicting that consumers will be squeezed by the rising cost of exports due to a week pound – again a situation created by the decision to leave the European Union.
That, says Mr Robertson, will bring further damage to Moray households as they see their family budgets further stretched in supermarkets around the region.
Mr Robertson commented: “In the Autumn Statement the Chancellor has increased Insurance Tax, which hits many, many people in the pocket. This type of stealth tax increase is not so obvious to consumers but the overall effect of it is significant.
“We are also seeing the impact of leaving the EU hitting consumers, with OBR figures showing that the rising cost of imports due to a fall in the value of Sterling will cause prices of products to rise in our supermarkets and shops – as industry leaders have warned in recent weeks.
“The Chancellor has completely failed to protect those on low incomes – continuing with the failed austerity onslaught that has been deeply damaging to families and communities across Moray.
“Charities and think-tanks have rightly condemned this, with lower earnings, benefit cuts and higher costs providing a bleak outlook for people throughout Moray – and this is before the full impact of Brexit is felt.
“We already know that Brexit could cost up to 80,000 jobs in Scotland and take £11.2 billion from our economy every year – the Chancellor has not done enough to help prevent this happening, or to fill the forecasted £220 billion Brexit black hole.
“Piecemeal offerings from the Tories have been more than offset by the deeply damaging impact of their Government’s policies – and people across Moray will be feeling the effects of the Tories’ regressive policies for a long time to come.”