Mackay has funds to avoid cuts and tax rises, say Tories
Murdo Fraser: ‘huge investment in Scotland’ (pic: Terry Murden)
Added funding support from Westminster means Derek Mackay, the Scottish Finance Secretary, has no need to trim public spending or hike taxes in this week’s budget, say Scottish Tories.
It says the government received the third highest cash increase out of all the spending areas across the UK, although it was the sixth highest in percentage terms.
Figures taken from the government’s “Red Book” on spending show that the Scottish Government will receive a cash boost of £1.6 billion, an 8.6% rise. UK transport received a 76% rise.
The Tories said the added support for Scotland means it is “substantially benefitting” from the UK budget.
Speaking ahead of the Scottish budget this week, the Scottish Conservatives are calling on the SNP government to acknowledge this latest budgetary increase and pass on the extra money to Scotland’s public services, without asking taxpayers for even more.
Murdo Fraser, Scottish Conservative finance spokesman said: “These figures prove that the Scottish government will benefit enormously from the UK budget.
“While the SNP can’t bring themselves to welcome it, this is a huge investment in Scotland.
“This shows that the SNP government has enough cash to support our ailing public services without asking taxpayers more.
“The SNP has become a “pay more, get less” government. With the Budget this week, that must end.”
Scottish Labour has put forward a series of anti-austerity proposals for Wednesday’s budget as reports show talks between the SNP and other parties stalling.
The party believes it is time for the SNP to start using the powers of the Scottish Parliament to make different choices from the Tory government and its austerity agenda.
Scottish Labour’s finance spokesman, James Kelly, said: “The time for tinkering at the edges is over. We need a real change of direction in this budget – and Labour has the ideas for how we can do things differently.”