The Economy

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 1:33 pm on 24th October 2019.

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Photo of Kirsty Blackman Kirsty Blackman Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Economy), SNP Deputy Leader 1:33 pm, 24th October 2019

You are looking at me, Madam Deputy Speaker, so I will make some progress.

I am going now to focus on tackling inequality. This Queen’s Speech offers no rays of sunshine. In Scotland, we are bringing forward all our spending review plans, our programme for government and our national performance framework and looking at the plans on the basis of the wellbeing of people who live in Scotland. Scotland and New Zealand are leading the way in the world in this space. The UK Government are not taking account of wellbeing, as we can see by the fact that every time Conservative Members stand up they talk about how great it is that we have such low unemployment, how rich everybody is, how well everybody is going and how much higher their wages are. If we ask people in the streets and people at our surgeries whether they feel as though they are richer than they were before a decade of austerity, we find that they all say that they are not richer and that this Tory Government have catapulted them into poverty. We are seeing increasing numbers of children in poverty. In Scotland, we are doing everything we can to combat that, through things such as the baby box and the Scottish child payment. Our Government are doing everything they can but they cannot mitigate every one of the excesses of Tory austerity, no matter how hard we try, because we do not have all the levers that would be available with independence.