The Liberal Democrat  leader Vince Cable has reacted to the Budget yesterday, in which is was announced that Britain has sunk down the international league table for growth.

Vince Cable has said,

Today’s Budget saw the UK slip from the top of the growth league to deep into the relegation zone. Each person in Britain is set to be £687 worse off per year compared to forecasts before the election.

And as living standards are squeezed, the Government is setting aside £3.7bn to cover the cost of a ‘no deal’ Brexit.

The Chancellor found more money in the Budget to plan for Brexit than he did for our struggling NHS, schools and police.

And the Labour Party are little better and their support for Brexit makes their fantasy economics all the more unrealistic.

A Liberal Democrat budget would have looked very different today. Founded on a vision of a high-tech, high-skilled economy that is green, open and entrepreneurial.

We would invest £6bn per year in our NHS & Social Care system, paid for by a penny on income tax. And Lib Dems would kick-start the economy back to growth with productive investment of £100bn over ten years to build more homes and infrastructure for the next generation.

Today’s Budget reinforces our belief that Britain is better off in Europe. We are fighting to remain in the Single Market and the Customs Union, and to give the people a vote on the final Brexit deal.

As more facts emerge, the public must be given a chance to Exit from Brexit.

You can also read about the main budget failures here.

Local Candidate James Calder at Amazon with Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie

Local Candidate James Calder at Amazon with Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie

The Scottish Liberal Democrats have campaigned for big businesses that receive Government grants to pay fair wages and also pay fair taxes. Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie was joined with local Liberal Democrat candidate James Calder and other campaigners today outside the Amazon base in Dunfermline demanding that changes are made. In 2014 Amazon paid only £11 million in tax despite earning £5.3 billion in British sales.

Speaking outside Amazon today Mr Rennie said: “For Scotland to be a fairer society where everyone has the chance to get up and get on there cannot be one set of rules for massive corporations and another for everyone else.

“Tax avoidance rules and paying workers fairly should apply to both the Davids and the Goliaths of the business world. But at the moment corporations like Amazon are being rewarded for failing to pay their workers properly and for only paying measly levels of tax.

“If the other political parties are committed to reducing wealth inequality in Scotland, they should be guaranteeing that they will not dole out taxpayer support to these kind of corporations.

“Scottish Liberal Democrats will not pay government grants to companies if they do not pay the Living Wage or their taxes.”

Local candidate James Calder has added: “Many in the constituency will be disappointed to hear that despite receiving so much Government funding, Amazon locally does not pay many of its workers fair wages or enough in taxes.

“We need to see a change in attitude in employers such as Amazon who receive huge levels of Government support – if they do not pay fair wages and taxes, they should not get grants!”

James with campaigners at Amazon

James with campaigners at Amazon

Workers across Scotland will benefit from a further £400 tax cut under Liberal Democrat plans to raise the Income Tax threshold to £12,500 in the next Parliament. The Lib Dems delivered on their top election pledge from 2010 to cut taxes for Scottish workers – to the tune of £800 a year – but now they want to go even further.

The Conservatives are trying to take credit for the tax cut but let’s not forget that they said it was unaffordable in the run up to the last election. The Lib Dems had their commitment to cut taxes for Scottish workers on the front page of their manifesto, and cutting taxes for those on low and middle incomes will be a top priority for them again.