Richard Lochhead

Moray SNP News



Ahead of the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement, Moray’s SNP MSP, is calling for a budget that will support businesses struggling with rising costs, and an inflationary increase in the Scottish budget to deliver pay deals for public sector workers. 

Richard Lochhead MSP is urging the UK Government to deliver on its promise to freeze whisky duty in order to protect the hospitality industry, which is one of the sectors hardest hit by soaring costs.

Mr Lochhead is also pressing for an increase in the Scottish Government budget in line with inflation to allow Ministers to meet pay demands from key public sector workers, including nurses and NHS staff.

Speaking ahead of the Chancellor’s statement, Richard Lochhead MSP said:

“As inflation rises to the highest level since 1981, we really need the UK Chancellor to deliver support for workers and businesses to get them through the weeks and months ahead. It would be completely unacceptable for the Tories to make people and businesses pay for their mismanagement and chaos.

“The Scottish Government’s budget has already faced a £1.7bn cut due to inflation alone, which makes it incredibly difficult to improve pay offers for much valued public sector workers, including nurses and NHS staff, due to the fact the budget is fixed.

“Public sector workers got us through the pandemic and they absolutely deserve the best pay deal possible. That’s why we desperately need the Chancellor to give a commitment that he’ll increase the Scottish Government’s budget in line with inflation so we can make improved pay offers.

“We also need the UK Government to deliver on its promise to freeze duty on Scotch whisky – a vital industry here in Speyside and Moray. There are real fears the industry is facing the biggest hike in duty since records began and proposals could cost Moray as much as £80m a year, putting jobs and investment at risk.

“Any increase would have a big impact on the hospitality industry, which is already under huge pressure with some in Moray already being forced to close their doors for winter or for good. The sector needs support to help them survive the winter and not to be squeezed further by a rise in duty.”