The SNP want the fund to help households and businesses in the country, and urging Rishi Sunak to create an emergency fund for families struggling on low incomes. Ian Blackford, the SNP’s Westminster leader, has made the calls amid continued chaos which has seen firms in the haulage, hospitality and care sectors suffer severely damaging staff shortages. Shop prices jumped 0.4 percent in August on a month-on-month basis, according to the latest figures from the BRC and research group NielsenIQ.
This surge was driven by a 0.6 percent increase in non-food prices, including a spike in the cost of electrical goods.
Millions of families throughout the UK have also been hit by a £20 per week cut to Universal Credit, while there have also been fears over rising energy bills as well as an increase in National Insurance contributions from April.
Mr Blackford raged: “The UK is in a state of constant crisis under Westminster control – with Tory cuts and the soaring cost of Brexit leaving families, businesses and the economy poorer and worse off.
“The Chancellor must use this Budget to get a grip of the spiralling Tory cost of living crisis and mitigate the damage that Tory cuts, regressive tax hikes and Brexit have caused.”
He added: “Under the Tories, the UK suffers from the worst levels of poverty and inequality in north-west Europe and in-work poverty is at the highest levels this century.
“Rishi Sunak‘s decision to slash Universal Credit, impose a public sector pay freeze, raise national insurance, and scrap the triple lock on pensions will push even more families into hardship.
“It is essential that the UK Government introduces an emergency package to boost household incomes and reverse rising poverty. Introducing a real Living Wage, ending the pay freeze, reversing Universal Credit cuts, and delivering an energy payment for low-income households.
“With Brexit hammering the economy, the Chancellor must follow the EU’s lead and introduce a Brexit Recovery Fund to mitigate the damage caused, which has already cost Scotland billions of pounds.”
Mr Blackford also warned: “For all their empty rhetoric, the Tories are stamping out any chance of a fair recovery with damaging political choices.”
But despite the demand for huge financial help from Boris Johnson’s Government, Mr Blackford has continued to push the case for Scottish independence.
First Minister Ms Sturgeon is hopeful of holding a second referendum on a split from the UK before the end of 2023 – as long as the Covid pandemic has passed.
Mr Blackford added: “Ultimately the only way to keep Scotland safe from Tory cuts and the long-term damage of Brexit is to become an independent country, with the full powers needed for a strong, fair and green recovery.”
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Around £3billion of investment into education is set to be announced in this week’s Budget that will give people “the skills they need to earn more and get on in life”, Mr Sunak has said.
The Chancellor is expected to provide a cash injection to post-16 education but also to adults later in life.
He will also announce a quadrupling of skills boot camps in areas such as artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, and nuclear.
Mr Sunak said: “Our future economic success depends not just on the education we give to our children but the lifelong learning we offer to adults.
“This £3billion skills revolution builds on our plan for jobs and will spread opportunity across the UK by transforming post-16 education, giving people the skills they need to earn more and get on in life.”
Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi added: “We are supporting people to gain the skills they need to secure great jobs.
“Our skills reforms and this additional investment will support more people to continue to upskill and retrain throughout their lives and open the door to careers in high-skilled industries.”Internet Explorer Channel Network