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21/11/17 15:18

UK budget must meet Scottish budget tests

Call for measures to offset Brexit threat.

Finance Secretary Derek Mackay has reiterated calls for the UK Government to use the Autumn Budget to support economic growth in the wake of continued Brexit uncertainty and set out measures to protect households from further austerity.  

Re-iterating the Scottish Government’s expectations for the budget, the Finance Secretary called on the UK Government to take the following measures to help grow Scotland’s economy and protect public services:

  • Reverse plans for an additional £3.5bn cuts
  • Provide certainty over the future of EU funding and address the threat facing our economy as a result of Brexit
  • Ensure Scotland gets its fair share of funding after the DUP Deal
  • Ensure a fair deal for Scottish Farmers through allocation of Common Agriculture Policy convergence uplift to Scotland
  • Give Scotland’s railways a fair deal and reverse planned £600m cut
  • Invest new resources to lift the 1% public sector pay cap
  • Allow Police and Fire Services to recover £35m annual VAT bill and repay past VAT payments
  • Prioritise Renewables and North Sea Oil and Gas
  • Develop a co-ordinated approach to City and Regional Deals
  • Pause the roll-out of Universal Credit and review the payments timetable, reverse cuts to Child Tax Credits, reconsider the reduction to ESA work-related activity and unfreeze the Local Housing Association (LHA) rates.

Speaking ahead of the UK Government’s Autumn Budget, Finance Secretary Derek Mackay said:

“The Scottish Government remains resolute in our opposition to the UK Government’s austerity agenda which disproportionately hurts the poorest and most vulnerable in society.

“The Chancellor must meet key tests in his Autumn Budget to repair some of this damage, to recognise the serious challenges we are facing as a result of Brexit and to bring forward substantial measures to boost the economy and ease the pressure on the public sector and those who work in it.

“Mr Hammond must reverse his plans to cut an additional £3.5bn, halt his £600m reduction for Scotland’s Railways and finally address the issue of Police and Fire VAT that has cost Scotland’s emergency services £140m to date.

“And the UK Government must use this opportunity to stop the damage being done to individual households by the roll out of Universal Credit and welfare cuts.

“I have provided a consistent and comprehensive case for a better settlement for Scotland, and expect the Chancellor to respond positively.”

Background
The Finance Secretary’s letter to the Chancellor was issued on 10th November.