The UK Spending Round will not provide the Scottish Government with clarity on the future of the Scottish Budget, Finance Secretary Derek Mackay has said.
Speaking ahead of the Chancellor’s statement, Mr Mackay said without the tax announcements and economic forecasts of a full UK Budget the Scottish Government will not have clarity on funding for 2020-21.
Mr Mackay also said that with a ‘no deal’ Brexit looking more likely, the Scottish Government urgently needs a guarantee on funding from the UK Government to prepare for the consequences.
Mr Mackay said:
“Scottish public services have been constrained by a decade of UK austerity and this is now being compounded by the impact of a ‘no deal’ Brexit and the severe impact it threatens to have on our economy and jobs, as well as the loss of vital EU funding to Scotland.
“With a ‘no deal’ looking increasingly more likely, it is essential that the UK Government guarantees additional funding for Scotland to let us prepare as much as possible for the catastrophic consequences that this would bring to our economy, jobs and public services.
“The Chancellor must provide a cast-iron guarantee that all EU funding for Scotland will be replaced in full by the UK Government. This includes supporting our farmers by matching all existing support available through the Common Agricultural Policy and finally passing on the £160 million of convergence funding that has been withheld from Scotland.
“However the Spending Round will not give us the clarity we need about the Scottish Budget going forward. Without the tax announcements and economic forecasts of a full UK Budget, the Scottish Government will not have clarity on Scotland’s funding for 2020-21, meaning any announcements on funding for Scotland must be taken with a pinch of salt.
“Regardless of the UK Government’s delay and mismanagement, we are determined to provide as much certainty and stability as possible to Scotland’s public finances.”