I will fight ‘morally indefensible’ austerity

A statement from Katy Clark MSP last month on the situation facing the people of North Ayrshire (and all over the UK) this winter:

West Scotland MSP Katy Clark has described Tory plans for further austerity as “morally indefensible” as she pledged to fight it in the months to come.

Last week, Chancellor Jeremy Hunt announced a raft of tax rises and real terms spending cuts in the region of tens of billions.
The Scottish Labour MSP said this will have a devastating effect on North Ayrshire, which has already suffered from years of cuts to public services and council budgets, passed on by the Scottish Government.

She also described the decision of Scottish Conservatives MPs – including leader Douglas Ross – to vote in favour of the budget as “appalling”.

Katy commented: “Several constituents have got in touch with me to express their alarm at the latest announcements, which will see the Scottish Government’s budget cut in real terms, public services decimated even further, support for energy bills slashed and ordinary people paying more in taxes over the next five years.

“These measures are morally indefensible. As the people of North Ayrshire will tell you there’s simply nothing left to cut. Every Scottish Conservative MP should hang their head in shame.

“Austerity didn’t work the first time around – the economy stagnated and the social fabric of the country was destroyed, and yet public debt has continued to rise.

“External price shocks and rampant profiteering are driving inflation, yet ordinary people are being asked to pay for it.

“There’s a clear alternative to cuts: experts say wealth taxes could raise tens of billions. At a Scotland-level, we also need land-based taxes and for councils to be given the power to levy taxes in key areas such as inheritance, tourism and carbon emissions.

“We cannot hollow out our public realm any longer. We deserve better.”