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Ian Blackford ignited a furious backlash this morning after he criticised Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s economic plans. The SNP’s Westminster leader told Sky News that Westminster should “give us powers here in Scotland” to prevent a mass employment crisis. However, viewers suggested that the best way the SNP MP could help the Scottish people was to resign.
Mr Blackford called the Chancellor’s new winter economy plan “a failure of responsibility”.
He went on to urge the Government to hand even more powers over to Scotland – sparking a fury among viewers who pointed to the SNP’s “track record with money”.
The SNP’s Westminster leader explained: “We have said to the Government it should be doing the right thing to support people in the short-term, in order for us to come out of this and grow the economy.
“The Government has walked away from its responsibility.”
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Mr Blackford continued: “I would say to the Chancellor if he is not prepared to do it give us the powers here in Scotland because we want to make sure we do protect our people.
“This is a consequence of direct Government action. We should be supporting people, there is none of this in here like in other European countries.
“Hand these powers to the Scottish Parliament if they are not prepared to discharge their responsibilities properly.”
He warned that Britain was facing 1980s-level mass unemployment.
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Labour’s shadow chancellor Anneliese Dodds echoed Mr Blackford’s fears this morning, telling the BBC: “Certainly those unemployment levels are rising very substantially, they’re going back towards 1980s levels.”
However, viewers took Mr Blackford’s claims apart, saying “the best way to protect people in Scotland is to resign”.
One person tweeted: “We’ve seen what happened previously when Sunak handed money over to SNP they made a complete mess of the funding and grants for the Hospitality sector.
“The SNP track record on finance is abysmal.”
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Another added: “Easy for him to say, who’s paying for it? Talk about biting the hand that feeds you.”
On Wednesday, Mr Blackford was shut down by Boris Johnson during a fierce Prime Minister’s Questions clash.
The SNP’s Westminster leader demanded Mr Johnson extend the furlough scheme in order to protect 61,000 jobs in Scotland.
However, the Prime Minister highlighted that the Chancellor of Exchequer had already pumped £12.7billion into the economy in order to combat the fallout of the coronavirus pandemic.
Earlier today, Scotland’s tourism and country sports industries warned that they face losing millions of pounds of bookings after a chaotic last-minute decision by SNP ministers to include self-catering accommodation in the ban on visits to other households.
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