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Nicola Sturgeon slams 'utterly failing' Tory response to cost of living crisis
10 October 2022, 17:13
Nicola Sturgeon has hit out at the government for "utterly failing" to tackle the cost of living crisis, and made the case for Scottish independence again.
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Nicola Sturgeon told the SNP conference on Monday afternoon: "When it comes to the cost-of-living crisis - and so much else besides - this UK Government is utterly failing in that duty.
"Each and every day its actions are making matters worse."
She added: "It took the Tories three years - three long years - to realise Boris Johnson was a disaster. With Liz Truss, it took them just three weeks."
Ms Sturgeon said that Prime Minister Liz Truss' decision to cut taxes for the richest - since ditched after a catastrophic response from financial markets - was "unconscionable".
She hit out Ms Truss' promise to pursue growth, saying: "Let me tell you what kind of growth that will be - growth in the gap between rich and poor, growth in the rates of poverty, growth in the pressure on our NHS and other public services.
"And, without any doubt, growth in the deep disgust the public feel for all of it."
Ms Sturgeon's conference speech comes after she came under fire for saying in an interview with the BBC on Sunday: "I detest the Tories and everything they stand for." Conservative minister Nadhim Zahawi called Ms Sturgeon's statement "dangerous".
Ms Sturgeon said her comments were not aimed at individuals, but at "policies and values".
She also took at aim at Labour, accusing leader Sir Keir Starmer of "letting down Scotland".
Ms Sturgeon added: ""They abandon all principle for fear of upsetting the apple cart.
"Bluntly - they are willing to chuck Scotland under Boris Johnson's Brexit bus to get the keys to Downing Street."
Sturgeon refuses to apologise over 'detesting Tories' comment
Ms Sturgeon also said she would publish the economic case for Scottish independence next Monday (October 17), and would push for another referendum next October.
The Supreme Court will rule on whether the Scottish Parliament can legislate on the new referendum next week. Ms Sturgeon said if the court ruled against her, she would continue to push for the referendum in the next election.
She said: "Fundamentally, it will leave us with a very simple choice - put our case for independence to the people in an election or give up on Scottish democracy. I will never ever give up on Scottish democracy."
Sturgeon is 'letting down the people of Scotland' says think tank boss
Ms Sturgeon announced several new policies in her speech, including:
- Increasing the Scottish Child payment from £20 a week to £25 from November
- Adding two new fast-track cancer diagnostic centres in Scotland next year
- Making Aberdeen "the net zero capital of the world", announcing 22 projects worth £50m - including one using the waste from whisky to recycle batteries