Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak said Scotland’s new Budget showed the “indisputable fiscal benefit” of being part of the United Kingdom, adding that the cash injection was the largest granted to Scotland in decades. The Scottish Government will receive £126 per person in comparison to £100 per person in England.
On October 27 he announced: “Through the Barnett formula, today’s decisions increase Scottish Government funding, in each year by an average of £4.6bn, Welsh Government funding by £2.5billion, and £1.6billion for the Northern Ireland Executive.
“This delivers, in real terms, the largest block grants for the devolved administrations since the devolution settlements of 1998.
“The whole of the United Kingdom will benefit from the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, and over time we will ramp up funding so that total domestic UK-wide funding will match EU receipts, averaging around £1.5billion a year.
“And whilst today demonstrates the indisputable fiscal benefit of being part of the United Kingdom.
“This is and always will be secondary to the simple truth that we are bound together by more than transactional benefit. It is our collective history, our culture and our security.
“We are, and always will be, one family. One United Kingdom.”
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Scotland’s Budget will give more than £172.7million of investment directly to Scotland’s communities, and see Scottish projects receive around £170million, farmers will also reveal £1.9billion, while fisheries will receive an extra £42.2million.
Despite the record funding, the SNP’s finance minister, Kate Forbes, is set to unveil her Budget breakdown against what she calls a “challenging fiscal backdrop”.
She rebuffed Mr Sunak’s claims of a generous cash allotment from Westminster, and instead argued that the UK Government had reduced “Scotland’s day-to-day spending by removing ongoing Covid funding, despite the continuing impacts of the pandemic”.
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After Ms Forbes claimed the record-high cash booster was not enough, the Scottish Labour Party called for a review into how the money from the Budget, is spent.
The party’s finance spokesman, Daniel Johnson, said: “After 14 years, the gap between the SNP’s rhetoric and reality on investing in Scotland’s future is eye-watering.
“To jumpstart a meaningful recovery from the pandemic and invest in an ambitious future, we’ve got to make sure every penny is spent wisely.
“The SNP’s broken financial promises have smothered Scotland’s potential for too long.
“We need an ambitious Budget with clear priorities for Scotland’s recovery.
“We need a clear picture of what we are trying to achieve – and if it’s working.
“Transparency and efficiency must be at the heart of our economic recovery.
“The days of short-term thinking must end.”
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