26 September 2023

SCOTLAND: Government seeks a Budget boost

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The Scottish Government has said it needs more money from Westminster to fund public sector pay deals.

Deputy First Minister, John Swinney said failure to do so would risk an inability to fund the offers it had made without cuts to public services.

Mr Swinney (pictured), who is also currently responsible for Finance and the Economy, issued the warning in a letter to United Kingdom Chancellor of the Exchequer, Nadhim Zahawi.

He warned that Scotland’s fixed Budgets, restricted borrowing powers, the inability to change tax policy and the lack of additional funding for public sector pay deals, meant the Government could only award pay deals for public workers in Scotland with “deep cuts to public services”.

However, a UK Government spokesperson said the Scottish Government had been provided with a record £41 billion ($A72 billion) per year for the next three years, the highest spending review settlement since devolution.

“As a result, the Scottish Government is receiving around £126 ($A221) per person for every £100 ($A175) per person of equivalent UK Government spending in England over the next three years,” the spokesperson said.

“We’re also helping to tackle the rising cost of living, protecting eight million of the most vulnerable families with direct payments of £1,200 ($A2,108) this year, and providing additional payments to pensioners and disabled people.”

Scottish Opposition Finance spokesperson, Daniel Johnson said it was not acceptable for both Governments to blame one another for their “collective failures”.

Edinburgh, 2 August 2022

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