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West Dunbartonshire’s MP Martin Docherty-Hughes has warned that the Spring Budget announced by the UK government fails to address the cost-of-living crisis facing local families and businesses.

Responding to Tory Chancellor Jeremy Hunt’s budget statement, local SNP MP Docherty-Hughes said cuts implemented by Westminster would hit living standards and exacerbate the damage Brexit is doing to the Scottish economy.

It comes as the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) warned living standards are expected to fall by 6% – the largest two year fall since records began in the 1950s.

The OBR also forecasts that there will be a 4% hit to GDP due to Brexit, with research by Bloomberg Economics showing it’s costing the UK £100 billion a year in lost output.

The SNP has accused the Westminster government of a ‘rip-off’ on energy bills, as households in Scotland face average dual fuel bills of up to £1,000 more than compared to the rest of the UK.

Commenting, Martin Docherty-Hughes MP said:

“The Tory Chancellor’s spring budget statement is a let-down for hard-pressed families and businesses here in West Dunbartonshire.

“It fails to address the impact of the UK’s cost-of-living crisis – with Tory cuts leaving people hundreds of pounds worse off, and Brexit costing our economy billions in long-term damage.

“Under this Westminster government, my constituents face the biggest fall in living standards since records began. They’re sick of being ripped-off by soaring gas and electricity prices, while big energy companies are allowed to rake in billions of profits.

“The Chancellor should have chosen to help families by cutting energy bills, raising public sector pay with inflation and introducing a Real Living Wage. Instead he has chosen to make people poorer – withdrawing vital support and imposing real-terms cuts to incomes.

“With the pro-cuts, pro-Brexit Labour Party failing to provide any meaningful opposition, it’s clear Scotland will continue to pay a high price under Westminster control – and independence is the only way for Scotland to build a strong, fair and prosperous future.”

A link to the UK Chancellor’s Spring Budget Statement is available here.

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