UK budget is a toxic cocktail of cost-of-living hikes and planetary neglect

Responding to the UK budget, Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton said:

"This budget is a toxic cocktail of cost-of-living hikes and planetary neglect.

"Today the Chancellor missed the chance to avoid a cost-of-living crisis which will cause sleepless nights for families up and down the country. Almost half of the minimum wage rise is wiped out by their national insurance hike and his announcement on the Universal Credit taper is giving back a fraction of what he snatched away. 

"We know that many households are facing a tough winter. That's why Liberal Democrats called for the doubling for the Warm Home Discount and its extension to many more people on lower incomes. Sadly these pleas fell on deaf ears.

"Instead the Chancellor focused on cutting taxes for airlines. This will make it easier for Conservative ministers to get to COP26 but harder to tackle the climate emergency. Meanwhile the decision to cut international aid until 2024 will hurt the planet's poorest in countries far less able to cope with Covid-19 and the climate emergency than our own.

On the additional consequentials for the Scottish budget he added:

"The broad shoulders of the UK have helped us to weather the virus crisis. Now this money must be put to work relieving the pressure on the NHS, helping education bounce back and providing new hope for the climate emergency through unprecedented new investment in warm homes and green transport.”

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