First Minister: Tories “perpetrating economic destruction on everybody”
THE CONSERVATIVE PLAN for government across the next two years has been scolded by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon after the Tories dropped the major policies from the party’s 2017 snap election manifesto.
Announcing an expected climb down following her failure to maintain the Tory majority in the election, Theresa May’s plan dropped the dementia tax, winter fuel cuts, caps in the energy, and expansion of grammar schools.
As a result, the next two years of proposed legislation is focused on carrying out Brexit - if the government can pass the votes in the House of Commons.
Sturgeon, sensing the new fragile state of the Tory Party, hit out at the programme at First Minister’s Questions.
“There is not much in the Queen’s speech to respond to. The Queen’s speech that was published yesterday was humiliatingly vacuous,” she said.
“The Tories at Westminster have clearly given up entirely on the day job — that is beyond any doubt. All that was in the Queen’s speech were damaging plans to rip the UK out of not just the European Union, but the single market. That is what the Tory Government now amounts to: perpetrating economic destruction on everybody around the UK.”
Sturgeon also said that Brexit, the main focus of the Queen’s speech, was a “power grab” that threatened to “centralise power in the hands of Whitehall” - taking power away from the Scottish Parliament.
Powers over agriculture, fishing, and the environment are devolved to the Scottish Parliament - but the UK Government has pledged to create UK-wide structures in these areas as Brexit begins.
Tory leader Ruth Davidson led on Common Agriculture Payments, a system that will be ended by Brexit.
“Here are the facts: £178 million of taxpayers’ money has been spent on an information technology system that still does not work, farmers are still waiting on payments from last year and the average income in 2016 is down to £12,600,” she said, warning that the SNP Government was failing to meet its responsibilities to the rural community.
“I say again that the long-term risk to the payments is the reckless Brexit that is being carried out by the Tories, which threatens to take away all support from our farmers in the longer term,” Sturgeon rebuffed.
Picture courtesy of First Minister of Scotland
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