Budget falls short for Scotland
Finance Secretary responds to UK Government financial plans.
The UK Government’s budget does not represent a good deal for Scotland, as a consequence of a real terms cut to Scotland’s revenue block grant of over £200m next year.
Commenting on yesterday’s UK Government budget Finance Secretary Derek Mackay said that Scotland is being “short changed”.
Despite a commitment of over £300m resource funding for the NHS in England this year, Scotland will receive only £8m in consequentials in 2018-19 due to UK cuts elsewhere.
Of the additional money the UK Government announced as being added to Scotland’s budget, over half of it - £1.1bn – are financial transactions which the Scottish Government cannot spend on frontline public services, and which have to be repaid to the Treasury.
Mr Mackay yesterday said:
“Scotland’s resource block grant for day to day spending will fall by over £200m in real terms next year and while money for the NHS in England should see a proportionate share come to Scotland, cuts in other UK departments mean that instead of receiving over £30m this year the Scottish Government will receive only £8m - a fraction of that spending.
“The reality is that over £1.1bn of the money being promised to Scotland over the next four years are loans that the Scottish Government cannot spend directly on frontline public services and that have to be paid back to the Treasury.
“Austerity has not ended and over ten years of this UK Government, between 2010-11 and 2019-20, we will continue to see Scotland’s discretionary budget fall in real terms by £2.6bn, that’s 8.1%.
“At the same time this budget has failed to lift the public sector pay cap. The Scottish Government believes all public sector workers deserve a pay rise and we will deliver one.
“On business rates and stamp duty the UK Government are following our lead. We have already moved to make revaluations more frequent and the vast majority of first time buyers are already exempt from tax when they buy a home.
“Ending the VAT obligation on police and fire services and supporting the oil and gas industry is welcome, but in both cases these moves are well overdue, and the UK Government must now pay back the £140m of VAT they have already taken.
“The reality of today’s budget is that Scotland continues to be hit by UK austerity and the decision to leave the EU. Compared with the £1bn awarded to the DUP, the funding settlement for Scotland unveiled today is disappointing.
“I have consistently argued for a better settlement for Scotland, and this budget does not reflect that.”
Latest News from
Quarantine rules change for five countries07/08/2020 15:05:00
Passengers from Belgium, Andorra and the Bahamas will be required to self-isolate at home or another specified address for 14 days on arrival in Scotland from Saturday, following a significant increase in the number of cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) in those countries.
Public attitudes to Coronavirus – June and early July summary07/08/2020 12:05:00
This report includes some high level findings from recent polling work on public attitudes to the coronavirus pandemic in Scotland. Reports covering earlier survey work were published on 8 May and 12 June 2020.
Coronavirus (COVID-19): Scotland's route map - supporting evidence for the 30 July Review07/08/2020 10:05:00
This document has been completed by the Scottish Government to inform decisions about timings of changes within Phase 3 as set out at the review point on 30 July 2020.
Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (Aberdeen City) Regulations 202006/08/2020 15:05:00
Regulations requiring the closure of businesses selling food or drink for consumption on the premises in the local authority area of Aberdeen City.
Local restrictions introduced in Aberdeen06/08/2020 12:05:00
Changes follow new COVID-19 cases identified in the community.
A blueprint for Scotland's wellbeing economy: Scottish Government response06/08/2020 10:05:00
The Scottish Government’s response to the Advisory Group on Economic Recovery report “Towards a Robust, Resilient Wellbeing Economy for Scotland: Report of the Advisory Group on Economic Recovery.”
Rebuilding better06/08/2020 08:05:00
Targeted measures to build a stronger, fairer and greener economic future for Scotland in the wake of coronavirus (COVID-19) have been announced by the Scottish Government.
Addressing the labour market emergency: Scottish Government response05/08/2020 16:33:00
Across four themes, this report sets out the Scottish Government’s response to the recommendations made by The Enterprise and Skills Strategic Board sub-group for immediate action to mitigate rising levels of unemployment across Scotland due to the impact of COVID-19.
University places05/08/2020 15:05:00
The number of Scottish domiciled students being offered a place at Scottish universities is the second highest on record, up 1% to 28,240.