Finance chief blames Tories for cuts
Mackay urges Hammond to ‘do the right thing’
Scottish Finance Secretary Derek Mackay will today call on the Chancellor in Westminster to “do the right thing” for public services and bring an end to the austerity agenda.
He will accuse the Tories of inflicting a 9.2% real-terms cut to Scotland’s budget over the current decade.
This is forcing the Scottish Government to impose cuts to council tax benefit and force VAT on services such as Police Scotland, he will say.
With the UK budget due in a matter of weeks, Mr Mackay will demand that Chancellor Philip Hammond loosen the purse strings and step up investment.
Mr Mackay will tell the SNP conference: “When the Tories’ neck is on the line, they have no hesitation in finding £1bn of taxpayers’ money for their grubby deal with the DUP – but they inflict a budget triple whammy on Scotland which is putting ever more pressure on our public services.
“The Chancellor… must ignore the austerity-obsessed right-wingers in his cabinet and do the right thing for public services by unlocking investment.”
Mr Mackay will tell delegates that the SNP government will lift the public sector pay cap “come what may” – unlike the UK Government and Labour-run Welsh assembly – but he will warn that the SNP Government will only be able to go so far unless the Chancellor lifts the cap across the UK.
“We will continue to work with Trades Unions, to deliver an affordable settlement, that recognises the cost of living.”