Theresa May has attacked the SNP for “failing the people of Scotland” as the party’s Westminster leader condemned the UK’s record on earnings.
Ian Blackford told the Prime Minister that real wages in Britain have fallen by 2.6% since 2007, and said the Government could find the money for quantitative easing but not for fiscal measures to grow the economy.
He said the Government did not “understand how to use economic levers”, but Mrs May told Mr Blackford the Scottish economy and the livelihoods are “better off in the United Kingdom”.
Following a question from Mr Blackford on the real wage growth in the OECD, Mrs May said: “He should look at what is happening to the economy in Scotland under an SNP government, because it is an SNP government that is failing the people of Scotland.
“And the only thing I will say to him is that the people of Scotland now have a strong voice in this House through our 13 Conservative Members of Parliament.”
Mr Blackford went on to ask: “The UK’s record on earnings has been significantly worse than almost every other developed country. In fact, real wages in the UK have fallen by 2.6% since 2007.
“Wages aren’t growing, the cost of living is rising, household budgets are stretched.
“The Government can find the money for quantitative easing – £435 billion since 2009 – but can’t find the money for fiscal measures to grow the economy.”
As he urged Mrs May to take “responsibility for the Government’s gross mismanagement of the UK economy”, he said: “This is a Government that does not understand how to use economic levers and it’s our people that are paying the price.”
Mrs May said Mr Blackford failed to mention the “increase in employment that has taken place across the United Kingdom and what the figures show today”.
“But he also he started off by standing up and complaining that I’d referenced the acts of the Scottish government – he believes in independence, he believes that Scotland should only be run by the Scottish government – so I think the Scottish people deserve to look at and in this House we deserve to talk about what the Scottish Government is or is not doing for the people of Scotland.
“The one thing I can tell him and others is that the Scottish economy and the livelihoods of the people of Scotland are better off in the United Kingdom.”