Scottish Savings Have Collapsed Under Tories
Household savings in Scotland have been cut by around 60% since the Conservative Party came to power in 2010, according to Scottish Labour.
Analysis from the devolved section of the Labour Party has revealed that the average household in Scotland had £1,517.31 in the bank in 2017, down from £3,840.41 in 2010. The report showed that household spending in the region has been increasing at a higher rate than disposable income levels.
The report said: “As a result, the savings ratio – which is the proportion of income left for savings or investment – has fallen to 2.7%, down from 3.7% in the same quarter last year.”
Scottish Labour claimed that the data shows the UK government is failing working class Scottish people and is a sign of a broken economy. It claimed that the fall in savings was down to stagnant wages and rising debt.
The charity StepChange Scotland released a report earlier this week called ‘Scotland in the Red’, saying it had helped 30,000 Scots with debt problems in 2018. It also claimed that up to 700,000 Scottish people have issues with debt and are vulnerable to further problems, while 46% of its clients had council tax arrears.
“The Tories came to power promising a long-term economic plan – but the impact of a disastrous near decade of austerity has been to shrink savings for families in Scotland,” said James Kelly, the finance spokesperson for Labour and MSP for Glasgow. “The Tories used to try and compare our complex economy to a household budget to justify their crusade to shrink the state – but instead all they managed to do was to shrink household budgets themselves.
“This is as a result of a cost of living crisis fuelled by stagnant wages and personal debt. All the while the incomes of the super wealthy have soared because of tax cuts at the top. Labour will make our economy work for the many, not just a privileged few, by investing in our people communities and public services.”
The Scottish National Party echoed the sentiment coming from Labour that Tory cuts were to blame for the fall in savings north of the border, whilst also pointing some blame towards Labour themselves.
“Unnecessary Tory cuts have held back our economy, damaged public services, and hammered the incomes of millions of Scots by squeezing family budgets,” said Tom Arthur, SNP MSP for Renfrewshire South.
“Whilst Labour and the Tories work hand-in-hand to slash household budgets and force more austerity on the UK, the SNP are helping people with the cost of living – whether that’s through free prescriptions for everyone, increased carers’ allowance, Best Start grants for parents on low incomes and a range of other measures to give a helping hand.
“We’ve also made income tax fairer – meaning more people are paying less that they would if they lived south of the border, and helped ensure that average council tax bills are £400 a year lower in Scotland.”