The SNP politician criticised the Chancellor’s Spring Statement on Tuesday, claiming Mr Hammond had been misleading on what he claimed was clearly going to be a continuation of the austerity that has hit the UK in the last ten years. 

Mr Blackford said: “The real tragedy is that we’re ten years on from the financial crisis but austerity is still with us. And there is a lack of hope given to the people of the United Kingdom from this statement today.

“We hear the chancellor proclaiming that we’ve had economic growth since 2010, that we can look forward to continuing economic growth over the course of the coming years, but the reality is in 2019, when we’re supposed to be leaving the European Union, that the OBR is predicting that growth will be a miserable 1.3 percent and is forecast to remain around 1.5 percent over the coming years.

budget 2018 spring statement uk chancellor philip hammond

Chancellor Philip Hammond hits back at SNP MP over budget criticism

“Significantly below what has been a historic trend line for this country.

“And when I hear the Chancellor talking about wage growth, he ought to reflect that we’ve got a lost decade of wage growth in the United Kingdom.

“But let me prick his balloon as far as this is concerned. Because the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) book is very clear that real earnings growth will remain subdued for the next five years, that’s the reality.

“And perhaps the Chancellor should stop spending and become honest with people as to what is going to happen.”

I don’t know about a sinking ship, it’s about keeping afloat, I suggest to the Rt Honourable Gentleman

Philip Hammond

But the Chancellor snapped back at the SNP politician’s accusation and reminded him he should be worrying about Scotland, particularly after the recent tax hike which will put Scottish tax rates at the highest in the UK.

Parliament erupted as the Chancellor said: “What’s probably a matter of more immediate urgency for the people of Scotland will be how their economy will withstand the highest rates of taxation in the United Kingdom.

“An economy that under the SNP Government is already growing more slowly than the economy of the United Kingdom.

“I don’t know about a sinking ship, it’s about keeping afloat, I suggest to the Rt Honourable Gentleman.

“He talks about earnings, Mr Speaker, I suggest the Rt Honourable gentleman looks at real household disposable income which, as I’m sure he knows, real household disposable income is now 4.4 per cent higher than at the start of 2010.

“We have cut taxes for 31 million people across this country. At a time when his government is putting taxes up.”

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