Spring statement must stop Scotland being ‘short changed’

Monday March 11th, 2019

The UK Government must use their 2019 spring statement to stop Scotland being ‘short changed’ as a result of additional funding being allocated to Northern Ireland, Finance Secretary Derek Mackay has said.scottishgovernment_logo

It follows the recent announcement that Northern Ireland has received an additional £140 million for its 2019-2020 Budget on top of the £1 billion Northern Ireland has already been allocated by the UK Government.

In a letter to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Mr Mackay has also urged the UK Government to use the statement to provide the Scottish Government with the necessary financial resources it will need in the coming months to help mitigate some of the damage Brexit will bring to the Scottish economy.

Mr Mackay pressed the Chancellor to:

  • resolve the issue around additional funding being provided to Northern Ireland without applying the Barnett formula, and use the spring statement to provide a proportionate amount of additional finance and flexibility to Scotland, Wales and the rest of the UK
  • guarantee that all EU funding to Scotland – worth over £5 billion in this current EU budget round – will be replaced in full
  • commit to ending unnecessary austerity, which disproportionately impacts the poorest and most vulnerable in our society
  • make urgent progress on the request to grant financial flexibilities to the Scottish National Investment Bank in order to manage money across years
  • meet the full costs of changes to employer contributions to public sector pensions
  • make a formal commitment to 100% coverage of Scotland with growth deals
  • return the £175 million Scotland’s Police and Fire Services paid to HMRC between 2013 and 2018

Mr Mackay said:

“Scotland is once again losing out on vital funding and being short changed by the UK Government. The Chancellor must use his spring statement to address this imbalance which is penalising people across Scotland.

The decision in 2017 to allocate £1 billion exclusively to Northern Ireland without consequentials to the other devolved administrations is yet to be resolved, and it is unacceptable for the UK Government to continue to provide additional funding for devolved services in Northern Ireland without applying the Barnett formula.
This, along with the latest funding for Northern Ireland, has meant that Scotland has lost out on equivalent funding of around £3.3 billion.

In addition, analysis by the Scottish Government shows that a disorderly ‘No Deal’ Brexit has the potential to generate a significant economic shock and tip the Scottish economy into recession.

The UK Government must rule out ‘No Deal’ at any time and request an immediate extension of Article 50.”

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