Austerity would last longer if the Scottish National Party’s (SNP) spending plans were followed, the independent Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) revealed this morning. At points, their proposed squeeze on public spending would also be tighter than others.
In an extensive pre-election document comparing the fiscal plans of the Conservatives, Labour, the Liberal Democrats and the SNP, the IFS revealed the SNP’s plans for borrowing “imply less austerity than any of the other parties over the first four years of the parliament, but more in the final year”.
The numbers also show Nicola Sturgeon’s party’s plan involves “slower growth in public spending in 2019-20 than planned by the other parties”. The plan would mean a “lower level of total spending than planned by Labour, and slightly lower than planned by the Liberal Democrats”.
While the IFS accept that austerity SNP style is slower than that of the other parties, the figures are nonetheless in stark contrast to the anti-austerity rhetoric that the party has employed throughout the course of the campaign.
Far from the SNP coming to Westminster to “demand an end to austerity”, as its manifesto claims, the party’s plans would actually mean austerity for longer.
Today SNP Finance Secretary John Swinney said
SNP plans will see real terms increases in government spending, not cuts. We will protect the NHS and provide the support for those who need it. The only way to end austerity and to protect spending in Scotland is with a vote for the SNP and a strong team of MPs in Westminster.