No return to the “failed economic model of the past”, promises the Chancellor

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The UK “cannot return to the failed economic model of the past,” said Rishi Sunak.

In a speech via video link to the Scottish Conservatives’ conference in Aberdeen, the Chancellor said the “power” of the Treasury had helped all parts of the UK during the pandemic.

He told the conference, in a speech lasting just over two minutes, that he wanted to see “greater opportunities in every region and every community.”

He said: “When our country needed it most, the power of the British Treasury was made available to every citizen, wherever they lived.

“And our actions have paid off, not only are we now one of the most open societies in Europe, but also the fastest growing economy in the G7.

“Yet as we look to the future and continue our recovery, we cannot return to the failed economic model of the past, with low productivity and inequality across our country.

“We need to chart a new course together; one that offers greater opportunities in every region and community.

The Chancellor addressed the conference virtually (Peter Byrne/PA)

(PA wire)

Mr Sunak’s budget provided £173m for 13 projects across Scotland through the Leveling Up and Community Ownership funds.

He continued: “The UK government has a plan to deliver opportunity and growth to all parts of our country.

“And it’s a plan that we want Scotland to share, to drive, to lead.

“After all we’ve been through, let’s build this brighter, more prosperous future together for the whole of the UK.”

But the Chancellor has been criticized for his brevity, with SNP MSP Rona Mackay saying the two-minute, 16-second pre-recorded speech was ‘nothing short of insulting’.

She said: “In the midst of a crushing cost of living crisis, the man holding the purse strings thinks it appropriate to spend a few minutes of his time at his own Scottish party conference.

“In a speech packed with unabashed praise, Sunak offered no words of comfort or hope to thousands of Scottish families struggling with growing financial uncertainty.

“That speech was nothing short of insulting and perfectly demonstrates the Westminster Conservatives’ contempt for the people of Scotland.”

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