SCOTS have delivered a damning verdict on Rishi Sunak and his Budget, prompting fresh calls for independence.

New research by YouGov for the Times suggests a majority of voters north of the Border believe the UK Government is mismanaging the economy and that the Chancellor is failing in his duties.

Scots are also pessimistic about the UK’s economy following the Autumn Budget announcement, with few confident that the situation will improve amid Brexit chaos and the Covid crisis.

The poll found 62% of Scots believe the UK Government is handling the economy badly, and that a majority (56%) believe their financial position will get worse within the next 12 months.

Some 39% of respondents felt Sunak was doing a poor job as Chancellor, while only 26% considered him to be doing a good job.

A significant majority (64%) of Scots considered the UK economy to be in a bad position, with less than one quarter (24%) considering it to be good.

And 60% believe the UK economy will get worse within the next 12 months, with only 16% hopeful it will improve.

The SNP insist the results strengthen the case for Scottish independence.

The National: Kirst Oswald, the SNP's deputy leader at WestminsterKirst Oswald, the SNP's deputy leader at Westminster

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The party’s deputy leader at Westminster, Kirsten Oswald, said: “This YouGov and Times poll clearly demonstrates that the majority of Scots believe Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak are handling the economy badly and that their own financial positions will get worse in the next 12 months.

“Rather than delivering a progressive, investment-led Budget which would have helped millions of families across the UK recover from the pandemic, the Tories continue to increase tax on the poorest and cut tax on champagne for the wealthiest.”

She added: “Whether its cutting Universal Credit, hiking tax, or prematurely ending Covid support for those who need it most – the Tories are hell-bent on making the rich richer and the poor poorer.

“It doesn’t need to be like this for Scotland – we have an opportunity to do things differently. With the full powers of independence, Scotland will finally be able to escape the long-term damage of Tory austerity and Brexit and secure a strong and equal recovery."

Sunak has talked up his Budget as providing record-breaking levels of funding in Scotland.

The Chancellor, who made the announcement last week, claimed the Budget “delivers, in real terms, the largest block grants for the devolved administrations since the devolution settlement of 1998”.

However, this point was contested by Scottish Finance Secretary Kate Forbes.

“In reality, the Scottish Government will receive less grant funding in every year of the spending review than it has in 2021-22, despite the continuing challenges presented by Covid,” she said.