Nicola Sturgeon has said the Autumn Statement exposes the reality of the Tories’ “recklessness on Brexit”.
The first minister told MSPs it showed a “real squeeze on living standards” would be the price.
She made the comments during First Minister’s Questions at Holyrood yesterday.
“The Autumn Statement starkly set out the cost of Brexit to the UK economy and public finances,” she said.
“In responding, the UK Government had the opportunity to end its failed austerity policy. Instead the chancellor has continued with the cuts which are reducing budgets for public services and cutting the income of families across Scotland.”
But Philip Hammond defended his plans and insisted the independent experts had to reflect the changed economic circumstances since June’s referendum vote.
He also denied borrowing is out of control, although conceded the debt levels were “larger than we would like”.
The Tory frontbencher said he had tried to use the statement to prepare the economy “for as wide a range of outcomes as I possibly can” after the Brexit vote.
And he rejected the suggestion the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) was being kept in the dark about the government’s Brexit plans, adding it was impossible to be certain about what the result of negotiations with EU partners would be.
He said: “Until we get to the end of the negotiation we don’t know what the outcome will be, so the OBR itself has said there was an unusually high degree of uncertainty around the forecasts they have made.”
Shadow chancellor John McDonnell called on the government to open up about its Brexit plans, blaming Theresa May’s secrecy about her intentions for worsening the economic damage from the referendum result.
The prime minister said the statement was about ensuring a strong economy and “investing in the economy for the future”.