TORIES REPEAT MAY AND MUNDELL FIGURES MUDDLE
The UK government have doubled down on their demonstrably false claim that Scotland’s economy “lags behind the UK as a whole” – with the most recent figures showing that the Scottish economy grew four times faster than the UK as a whole.
The comments, made in response to a Fraser of Allander report showing that the Tory mishandling of Brexit threatens Scotland’s economic recovery, repeat ill-informed claims by Theresa May at Prime Minister’s Questions last week.
David Mundell then repeated the claim after launching a new Scottish business taskforce ahead of a trip to Argentina and Paraguay – bizarrely using a trade visit to talk down Scotland’s economic performance.
Latest statistics showed Scotland’s economy grow by 0.7% in the first quarter of 2017, while the UK’s as a whole grew 0.2% over the same period.
Scotland has higher economic growth and higher productivity than the UK as a whole, with Scotland’s Labour market also outperforming that of the UK. Unemployment has never been lower and employment has never been higher. Scotland continues to be the most attractive place for foreign investment outside London.
Commenting, SNP MSP Linda Fabiani said:
“Brexit is by far the biggest challenge facing Scotland’s economy. Faced with this looming disaster, the Tories can’t resist going out of their way to peddle mistruths about Scotland’s economy.
“It might suit the Tories to make false claims about Scotland’s economy – but the facts simply don’t support their nonsense rhetoric.
“Scotland’s economy grew around four times faster than the UK’s during the first quarter of this year and Scotland has higher employment, lower employment and faster productivity growth than the UK as a whole.
“And we have proportionately more people on a the real Living Wage and proportionately fewer people on zero hours contracts – ensuring that our economy isn’t just growing, but it is also supporting people in stable, well-paid work.
“The Tories look increasingly out of touch with the reality of Scotland’s economy.”
Economic forecaster urges clarity on post-Brexit powers
A UK government spokesman said: “Scotland’s economy is improving but still lags behind the UK as a whole.
David Mundell said:
“The UK Government’s new Scottish business taskforce will provide expert advice and guidance on how best to strengthen Scotland’s economy. We know that Scotland’s economic performance lags behind the rest of UK, and we need to close that gap.”