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Scottish Conservatives welcome ‘support for households and businesses

Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Local Government Liz Smith MSP said: “The UK’s economy is moving in the right direction. Rishi Sunak’s government has halved inflation, and the measures announced by the Chancellor will help households across the country.

“Wages are rising ahead of inflation. The UK economy has grown. The larger rise in benefits, pensions and the minimum wage will all help those struggling most with cost of living pressures.

“The very welcome two per cent cut in National Insurance will apply across the UK and be worth up to £754 per worker. So Scots will benefit, even though the SNP government continues to impose higher income tax rates than elsewhere.

“While the freeze on alcohol duty, for which the Scottish Conservatives lobbied, will be a huge boon for the Scotch whisky industry.

“The help being offered by Rishi Sunak and Jeremy Hunt to businesses – especially with expensing, levelling up and other measures – will hugely increase productivity and boost investment.

“That contrasts with the SNP’s refusal to pass on UK money designed to help firms with rates – something the Chancellor is continuing for the rest of the country.

“The SNP’s failure has held back Scottish firms, led to a black hole in Scotland’s economy of £1billion and rising and, just the other day, cuts of £680m being announced.

“But this statement will mean an extra £545m for the Scottish government in UK funding.

“It shows how much Scotland gains from our place in the UK. It offers support and unlocks potential for individuals, households and businesses. It helps the most vulnerable, encourages growth, cuts taxes, promotes business and reduces debt. The SNP government should learn from its example.”