SNP: austerity has “categorically and comprehensively failed”

Renegotiating spending cuts would be the party’s number one priority if it wins the balance of power

Scotland’s first minister and leader of the SNP, Nicola Sturgeon, will today launch a blistering attack on the government’s fiscal policy.

Speaking later today at University College London, Sturgeon is set to say that the coalition government’s austerity programme has “categorically and comprehensively failed” and needs an overhaul.

Instead, growth, productivity and fairness are needed for long-term recovery, she will argue.

Ahead of her speech, Sturgeon said that if a tie-in with Labour emerges in May, a renegotiation of spending cuts would be the party’s key objective, Sturgeon told the BBC’s Today programme this morning.

During today’s speech, Sturgeon will argue that Scotland’s current economic policy is the way forward for the UK as a whole and is more in line with a growing international consensus, the BBC reports.

“The entire focus of the Westminster debate is on the deficit,” Sturgeon will say. “The deficit is hugely important, but it is a symptom of economic difficulties, not just a cause of them.”

“The UK government’s economic policy has failed: categorically and comprehensively. And not by my reckoning, but on the UK government’s own terms.

“Perhaps most damagingly of all for the UK government’s credibility, it has failed to meet its own deficit reduction targets.

“But what the UK government is now telling us is this: austerity hasn’t worked, so we need even more of it.”

A spokeswoman for Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael said: “Whether Nicola Sturgeon likes it or not, this government has cut borrowing by £52bn from the level we inherited.

“All the bombast in the world will not change the reality that the UK government’s economic strategy is working.”

Labour’s shadow Scotland secretary Margaret Curran dismissed what Sturgeon had to say, and added that voting for the SNP could equal another Cameron-led government.

She said: “Scotland can’t afford another five years of David Cameron, but Nicola Sturgeon wants to help the Tories get back into power.

“Every vote for the SNP in May is another boost for David Cameron, and makes it more likely that he will be prime minister for another five years.”

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Readers' comments (4)

  • Love her logic - We have too much debit so lets spend even more - wonder if she has Greek blood in her!

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  • Just a thought - The old stereotype of Scots being shall we say 'fiscally sensible' - is well and truly blown by the likes of Nicola Sturgeon and Gordon Brown!

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  • Anonymous

    She must be breathing a sigh of relief that they didn't win the independence referendum. With oil plummeting to half the former rate the SNPs budget plans would have been in tatters.

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  • Michael Smith

    What is she talking about? No one will 'tie in' with the SNP because they have stated that any coalition would require the cancelling of Trident. She said that was not negotiable. There are no parties that will agree to that. Or has she changed her mind... again.

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