The Scottish Conservative candidate for Paisley in the 2016 Scottish Elections has welcomed the Chancellor’s autumn statement as a clear sign that the Conservatives are the party of working families.
Paul Masterton, alongside the Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson, had been critical of George Osborne’s planned changes to tax credits, and backed the Chancellor’s decision to scrap the proposals.
The Chancellor also announced a doubling of the housing budget and a proposal to increase stamp duty on second homes and buy-to-let purchases, and Paul urged the SNP to follow Westminster’s lead in helping first time buyers and those locked out of the housing market by adopting similar measures at Holyrood.
Paul also repeated his call for the SNP Government to rule out any increase in the tax burden north of the border as major new powers are transferred to Holyrood over the coming years.
Paul said: “I was delighted that the Chancellor listened and responded to the concerns and pressure from Ruth Davidson and many others from across the political spectrum, and decided against the tax credit changes.
“In acknowledging his approach was wrong the Chancellor has demonstrated a political maturity sadly lacking within the Scottish Government.
“This autumn statement protects our economic and national security, and puts beyond any doubt that the Conservatives are the party of aspiration, the party on the side of working families, and ‘the mainstream representatives of the working people of Britain’.
“Pensioners will also benefit from the biggest increase to the state pension in 15 years.
“The spending review hands the Scottish Government a 14% real terms increase in capital spending up until 2021 – the SNP need to tell us what they are going to do with that money to ensure we can build the new homes, the better transport routes, and the high quality schools people across Scotland are waiting for.
“Over the past 5 years, Britain has been the fastest growing economy in the G7 as a result of the decisions the Conservatives have taken whilst in government.
By voting Scottish Conservative in May, Paisley will be delivered opportunity and stability – something they won’t get with Labour and the SNP’s plans to increase taxes on working families, and spending plans which would blow massive holes in Scotland’s budget.”