Black Condemns "Cruel" Tory Policies

16 October 2015, 19:09 | Updated: 30 March 2016, 13:50

SNP MP Mhairi Black has launched a fierce attack on the Conservatives' austerity policies as she insisted that investing in people is "a real long term economic plan".

The 21-year-old, who is the youngest MP of modern times, said an "out of date and out of touch" Westminster was implementing "some the most right wing and cruellest policies".

Ms Black, who caused a sensation when she defeated shadow foreign secretary Douglas Alexander to become the new MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire in May's general election, hit out as she spoke at the SNP conference in Aberdeen.

The former chip shop worker said that the independence referendum campaign had "begun to build this nation's confidence" and had "set alight so many imaginations in this country".

She said the "reality" is that Scotland "will always be constrained as long as we're part of this Union" as she attacked David Cameron's Conservative Government.

"The Parliament I sit in is a top down, out of date and out of touch one," she said.

"I am witnessing some the most right wing and cruellest policies imaginable being passed in front of my very eyes.

"I often find myself looking across that chamber at the Tory MPs and I think 'are you so genuinely out of touch that you can't see the damage you are doing'.

"Either way I am tired of being lectured by Tories as to why austerity is essential, why these welfare reforms - in fact they're not reforms, they're cuts - are essential. I'm tired of being told pensioners cost too much, I'm tired of our young people being told they're not good enough, I'm tired of immigrants being scapegoated for the mistakes of bankers and politicians.

"I'm tired of being told that pain and misery are necessary for a stronger economy, for a long term economic plan.''

She added: "The Scottish Government spends millions every year mitigating and protecting our citizens from their Tory cuts, millions of pounds we would rather be spending on health, on education. The Scottish Government has spent £35 million alone ensuring no one person in Scotland has to suffer the bedroom tax.

"It has rejected the economic madness of austerity. We have continually invested in our public services and in our people. We recognise the only way to build a fair society is to tackle inequality not to create it.

"So if any Conservatives happen to be watching I would say it is only by investing in people and by allowing people to reach their potential then we will have what I call a real long term economic plan."