Glasgow MPs and MSPs react to crash in value of pound
What does your MSP and MP have to say about the crash of the pound?
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The pound has crashed in value to an all-time low following chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng’s mini-budget announcement on Friday, which promised tax cuts across the board.
Its value against the US Dollar rallied slightly this morning, but is still the lowest the pound has ever been since 1985.
By promising tax cuts with no apparent significant spending cuts, it looks likely that government borrowing will need to rise to cover state spending — resulting in confidence in the pound falling and leading to a massive sell-off of sterling in the last four days.
Prime Minister Liz Truss argues that the jolt to the economy will boost tax receipts. We asked Glasgow MPs and MSPs what their thoughts were on the pound slump, here’s what they had to say.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, MSP for Glasgow Southside
The FM wrote on Twitter:”In grip of rapidly deteriorating economic crisis. Emergency intervention by @bankofengland to reduce damage of UK gov own policies extraordinary. Commons should be immediately recalled (where even is PM?) & as at least an initial symbol of sense, top tax rate abolition dumped.”
Anas Sarwar MSP, leader of Scottish Labour, Glasgow Region
The labour leader wrote on Twitter:“This Tory Government is economically illiterate and morally bankrupt.”
Patrick Harvie MSP, Co-leader of Scottish Greens, Glasgow Region
“The plunging pound is yet another disaster from a cruel and incompetent Tory government.
“It is the result of a budget that was designed for bankers, polluters and the super rich, and offered little if anything for the millions of people that are being stretched from all directions.
“Whether it is the soaring prices we are seeing in shops or the skyrocketing energy bills that are punishing households across the country, it is clear that the Tories cannot be trusted with our economy.
“With Greens in government we are taking important steps to tackle the cost crisis, with a rent freeze and a ban on evictions until at least March, the Scottish Child Payment increasing to £25 a week, as well as free bus travel for everyone under 22 and a real living wage on all government contracts.
“But if we are to make some of the bigger structural changes that are needed then we need the levers of power to do so. Next year’s independence referendum will allow us to do even more to build a fairer, greener future in Glasgow and across Scotland.”
John Mason MSP, SNP, Glasgow Shettleston
“I think the key point is that the slump in the pound shows a lack of confidence internationally in the UK Government.
“Clearly people in this country and beyond do not see massive tax cuts and increased borrowing as a sensible or reasonable step at this point.”
Bob Doris MSP, SNP, Glasgow Maryhill and Springburn
“It’s hardly a surprise the value of the pound has taken a nose dive given the reckless and unethical actions of the UK Government by borrowing to fund a massive tax cut for the most wealthy. Borrowing should be to invest or to protect vulnerable groups, not to benefit those earning above £150,000 a year.
“It’s hardly surprising that support for an independent Scotland continues to rise as Scots increasingly see the merits in controlling our own affairs rather than being wed to a flawed Westminster system which has again backed the highest earners at the expense of those most in need.”
Bill Kidd MSP, SNP, Glasgow Anniesland
“Just weeks into having Liz Truss as the UK’s Prime Minister, the Conservative Government is badly damaging our economy. Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng’s mini budget shows the Tories are on a full-blown return to trickle down economic thinking that believes when the rich get richer it benefits everyone. This is not the case.
“We all know that when the rich get richer, it benefits them only and the less well-off pay the price. This move is completely inappropriate during a cost of living crisis. Tax cuts for the rich will increase the amount of money the government is paying on its debts- diverting finances away from vital public spending.
“Already the UK Government is paying more each year in interest on its debts than it spends on schools. The drastic drop in the value of the pound shows that the financial market views this economic decision as a serious misstep.“
Kaukab Stewart MSP, SNP, Glasgow Kelvin
“The UK government has chosen to give massive tax cuts to people earning over £150,000 and lift the limit on the bonuses bankers can earn in the middle of a brutal cost of living crisis. In doing so they have deliberately devalued the pound against the dollar, the Euro and every other currency.
“They know full well that this will push inflation up further, increase food, clothing and all other prices, put mortgage payments up, and make life increasingly difficult for businesses which are already struggling.
“I genuinely do not understand why anybody apart from the very rich would vote for these economic vandals. They don’t care about ordinary people in any part of the UK. They only care about big money for the few who are already getting more than their fair share of the country’s wealth. It’s a scandal.”
Pam Duncan-Glancy MSP, Labour, Glasgow Region
Pam Duncan-Glancy MSP wrote on Twitter:“We know they can (and have) dismantle(d) the entire welfare state in a pen strike but the ‘economy’s-safe-in-our-hands-Tory’s’ dismantling the economy overnight’s a new one… Cannot wait to get this lot out.”
Paul Sweeney MSP, Labour, Glasgow Region
Paul Sweeney MSP wrote on Twitter:”Labour is responding to the real alienation millions feel in our current economy. Tory government shovelling our wealth to their rich cronies. A Labour government will set up a new publicly-owned energy company and sovereign wealth fund to build a fairer, greener British economy.”
Pauline McNeill MSP, Labour, Glasgow Region
“Kwasi Kwarteng when asked about the PMs Chief of Staff Mark Fullbrook being paid through his lobbying company on @BBCPolitics that he didn’t know rather that try to defend it. It’s unheard of according to @thetimes. Not his biggest problem it seems.”
James Dornan MSP, SNP, Glasgow Cathcart
James Dornan MSP wrote on Twitter:“Two things that have become clearer thanks to the events of the last week or so. This corrupt Tory Government is deliberately destroying the country they claim to love in the interest of the mega rich and speculators.
“The other is that there is no way Scotland should be paying a share of UK debt on a set % basis. This is a politically driven debt to make the pound weaker & allow others to gain from it, we used to call it insider trading, and there is no way Scotland should pay 4 any part of it.”
Alison Thewliss MP, SNP, Glasgow Central
“The Chancellor created this mess, and has nothing to say on how to fix it.”
Carol Monaghan MP, SNP, Glasgow North West
“Huge tax breaks for the wealthiest billed as emergency measures to tackle cost-of-living crisis. Do they honestly think we’re stupid?”
David Linden MP, SNP, Glasgow East
“Because Parliament is in recess, the most scrutiny @KwasiKwarteng is getting for trashing the economy is simply being doorstepped by a news camera. It cannot go on like this — the @HouseofCommons must be recalled.”
Scottish Greens economy spokesperson, Maggie Chapman MSP, said: “The Tories said they were ‘betting big’ with our economy. Their gamble has failed, with the pound in freefall making our day-to-day lives even more expensive.
“This was entirely predictable and the result of a cruel and incompetent Tory government with no concern about the outcomes of its actions, or the people who will suffer as a result.
“12 years of Tory rule has left the economy in shambles. Millions are struggling to pay for food, heat and shelter while public services are crumbling from over a decade of chronic underinvestment.
“The very last thing we need to see is even more money being recklessly transferred out of those services and funnelled into the pockets of the rich, to be hoarded offshore. Yet this is exactly what the Tories are doing.
“Our finances shouldn’t be at the whim of a disastrous Tory government that we didn’t vote for and can’t remove. With independence we can do so much better than a future of Tory failure.”
Stewart McDonald, Patrick Grady, Chris Stephens, Anne McLaughlin, Ivan McKee, Annie Wells, Humza Yousaf, and Sandesh Gulhane have all been contacted for comment - they haven’t posted anything personally about the pound crash as of yet.