Amendment of the Law

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 2:11 pm on 8th March 2017.

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Photo of Stewart Hosie Stewart Hosie SNP Deputy Leader, Shadow SNP Westminster Group Leader (Economy) 2:11 pm, 8th March 2017

I am not shocked or surprised by that. What we need to do is ensure, certainly in Scotland, and in the UK if the Government can find the will to do it, that we make this country as attractive as possible as a place to continue to invest in and run businesses in, and for us that means staying in the single market and, frankly, staying in the EU.

Finally, I want to refer to announcements made in relation to the Budget over the past week. There was the decision to have extra departmental spending cuts, and the decision on personal independence payments and other welfare measures. The latter, we believe, demonstrates the real impact of the welfare cap in punishing the most vulnerable and balancing the books on the backs of the poor, confirming many predictions that the UK is set to become more unequal than it has been since the days of Margaret Thatcher, and further confirming that this Government have learnt nothing. They are tweaking the numbers to fit the ideology, driven by an austerity agenda and failing to realise that they cannot cut their way to growth. At its heart, the real tragedy of this Budget, only a week or so before article 50 is invoked, is that Brexit was the word that dared not speak its name, and this country is completely unprepared for the economic tsunami that this Government will unleash.