Tories are out of touch, out of ideas and morally bankrupt – Ian Murray

At a time when some of the SNP’s most senior Cabinet figures are abandoning government to fight amongst themselves, the Tories have squandered their chance of unlocking the country’s potential.

Instead, last week’s UK Budget was a failed attempt to paper over the cracks of self-made economic decline. This Tory government has sent a clear message to the people of Edinburgh: they care more about hiding their own failures than they do about improving public services and they care more about tax cuts for the richest one per cent than they do about tackling poverty.

What we needed was a Budget for growth but what we got was a pitiful growth forecast. The PM championed a shrinking economy as a success. The Chancellor kept digging a hole slightly slower than that of Liz Truss. It shows you how far our ambitions have fallen. And while this harmful Tory budget is being waved through at Westminster, the SNP government at Holyrood is in the process of imploding.

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Scotland is being failed by two governments who both have their priorities terribly wrong. It showed just how out of touch this Tory government is that they gave hand-outs to the richest in our country while once more hammering working people and taking no action to tackle the cost-of-living crisis.

British taxpayers are now facing the highest sustained tax burden in peacetime. And at the same time, we are facing the deepest economic stagnation since the Napoleonic War.

We can’t go on like this – Tory decline is failing Britain. This is a government that needs to be swept from power as soon as possible.

As the details of Partygate get a fresh airing, we have not been left short of examples of the Tories' moral bankruptcy. But nothing makes it clearer than Rishi Sunak heating his swimming pool whilst my constituents in Edinburgh struggle to keep their heads above water. We’ve gone from a buffoon PM to a billionaire PM who is so out of touch with reality.

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You know they’ve run out of road when they start stealing policies from the opposition. A windfall tax on oil and gas producers was announced in January 2022 by Labour. The government announced a partial windfall tax in May 2022. A plan to cap energy bills was announced in August by Labour and then adopted by the Tories.

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt's Budget showed the Tories are out of ideas (Picture: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire)Chancellor Jeremy Hunt's Budget showed the Tories are out of ideas (Picture: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire)
Chancellor Jeremy Hunt's Budget showed the Tories are out of ideas (Picture: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire)

They’ve announced plans to scrap extra charges for people on prepayment energy meters. Labour first called for an end to those penalties last year.

The Chancellor announced at the Budget that fuel duty would not rise with retail-price inflation as originally planned. Labour called on the government to cancel this rise in January.

The Chancellor confirmed four million mortgage holders will pay on average £2000 more due to their crashing of the economy, a Tory premium on millions of homeowners. The only permanent tax cut was for the very richest. Same old, same old.

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This is symbolic of a Tory Government that’s out of touch, out of control and out of time. And Labour are ready to replace them with ambition, optimism and a plan to transform all of the country.

Ian Murray is Labour MP for Edinburgh South