Sturgeon: 'Interest rate rise cost of Tory economic mismanagement' 

The First Minister criticised the Conservatives' handling of the economy.

Nicola Sturgeon: Interest rate rise is ‘cost to people of Tory economic mismanagement’  STV News

The biggest hike in the UK’s interest rate for more than three decades is the “cost to people of Tory economic mismanagement”, according to Nicola Sturgeon.

It comes after the Bank of England raised interest rates to 3% from 2.25%, the largest jump since 1989.

They warned that the UK could be facing the longest period of recession since reliable records began.

If current market expectations prove correct, the economy could fall into eight consecutive quarters of negative growth.

It would be the longest period of uninterrupted decline that the nation has experienced for around a century.

At First Minister’s Questions on Thursday, Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross had raised concerns over funding for the health service in the country.

Ross said that the NHS is “in crisis at every level”, with the prospect of strikes by staff during winter.

The First Minister pledged to continue to support the NHS, but criticised the Conservative over their handling of the economy.

“Of course, people are right to be worried about the ability of our national health service to cope with spending constraints and the impact of Tory mismanagement on our economy,” she told MSPs.

“Since we’ve been in this chamber, we’ve just heard that interest rates have been increased by the Bank of England to 3%, the highest for 14 years, the biggest single increase since Black Wednesday in 1992.

“That’s the cost to people of Tory economic mismanagement.”

She added: “I’ll continue to take my job seriously to support the NHS, but I will take no lessons from Conservatives who are making such a mess of the economy with such disastrous impacts for all of our public services.”

Following the announcement by the Bank of England, chancellor Jeremy Hunt said that the UK Government will need to take “difficult decisions” on tax and spending, with no easy options.

Hunt faced calls to address the House of Commons, or to give a press conference, in response to the interest rate rise to explain how mortgage-holders will be helped.

“Inflation is the enemy and is weighing heavily on families, pensioners and businesses across the country,” said Hunt.

“That is why the Government’s number one priority is to grip inflation and today the Bank has taken action in line with their objective to return inflation to target.

“Interest rates are rising across the world as countries manage rising prices largely driven by the Covid-19 pandemic and Putin’s invasion of Russia.

“The most important thing the British government can do right now is to restore stability, sort out the public finances and get debt falling so that interest rate rises are kept as low as possible.”

Hunt added: “Sound money and a stable economy are the best ways to deliver lower mortgage rates, more jobs and long-term growth.

“However, there are no easy options and we will need to take difficult decisions on tax and spending to get there.”

Labour’s shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves urged Rishi Sunak to “face up to his mistakes” that had led to a cycle of stagnation.

She said: “Families now face higher mortgages and more anxiety after months of economic chaos.

“Today’s recession warning lays bare how 12 years of Tory government has weakened the foundations of our economy and left us exposed to shocks, lurching from crisis to crisis with falling living standards and low growth.

“As chancellor and Prime Minister, Sunak must face up to his mistakes that have led to the vicious cycle of stagnation this Tory government has trapped us in.

“Working people are paying the price for Tory failure. Britain deserves more than this.”

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