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Scotland gains new funding

Chancellor declares end of austerity in plan for all nations

Sajid Javid: ‘we can afford to turn the page’

Chancellor Sajid Javid announced that Scotland will receive £1.2 billion of extra funding as part of a spending statement that will be seen as a pre-election sweetener.

Mr Javid announced £13.8 billion in extra spending on the “people’s priorities” of health, education and the police for England as he signalled an end to a decade of austerity.

“We can afford to turn the page on austerity,” he declared, adding that “our new economic plan won’t stop at the Borders of England. It will be a plan for all nations of the United Kingdom.

Scottish farmers will receive a £160m payment to correct a decision to withhold support in 2013.

He confirmed £2bn for Brexit delivery next year and more support for business readiness and to prepare Britain’s ports for a no-deal Brexit.

He said the increase in spending is the fastest, accounting for inflation, for 15 years and no government department would see a cut in its budget. It was a country now able to live within its means after the years of spending controls had paid off.

“We move from a decade of recovery to a decade of renewal,” he said. “We will keep control of public finances but we are investing in the country.”

The Institute for Fiscal Studies said the statement marked an end to austerity.

It said: “The Chancellor has announced an increase in spending on public services for next year. Day-to-day spending on public services will grow by 4.1%, or around £13.8 billion, between 2019−20 and 2020−21 in real terms. 

“This is enough to reverse around two thirds of the real cuts to day-to-day spending on public services – at least on average – since 2010, and around one third of the cuts to per capita spending. 

However, it added: “Making major spending decisions without the latest economic and fiscal forecasts is a risky move for the Chancellor. It looks as though it will be touch-and-go whether the Chancellor will meet his fiscal targets in the Budget later this year, even with a smooth departure from the European Union.”

Rain Newton-Smith, CBI Chief Economist, said: “Businesses will be heartened to see the Government’s ambition to overcome regional inequalities.

“The UK is home to some of the world’s most highly prized and sought-after products and services. We welcome the Chancellor’s boost to our international trade network to support our world class exporters.

“Firms will welcome the Chancellor’s warm words on the UK’s transition to a net zero economy, but will want to see significantly more detail in the forthcoming infrastructure review.

“But let’s be clear – in the event of a No Deal, the damage to our economy means this ambition will count for nothing, and the country will be stuck in a swamp of uncertainty.”

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell said Mr Javid’s statement was a “compendium of meaningless platitudes”.

Could I ask him…to take a message back to the person who obviously drafted the statement? His political master, Mr Dominic Cummings [Downing Street adviser]. The man who cancels the Chancellor’s own speeches, sacks his staff without telling him and has them escorted off the premises by an armed police officer.

“Could he tell Mr Cummings: Do not insult the intelligence of the British people. The people will see today’s statement as the grubby electioneering stunt that it is. This is not a Spending Review as we know it. It is straight out of the Lynton Crosby handbook: Opinion Poll Politics.

“The Tories have checked what are the top three or four issues in the polls and cynically judged just how little money they have to throw around to try and neutralise those concerns.”

Kirsty Blackman, the SNP’s Economy spokesperson, said: “The Chancellor’s Spending Review highlights that the decade of deep and damaging Tory austerity that has been imposed on people across Scotland and the UK is far from over, and that Scotland continues to face being short-changed and side-lined by Westminster.

“The reality is that the pre-election bribes do not mean an end to austerity, which we know has cumulatively cut the Scottish block grant by £12bn.”

Speaker chastises Chancellor

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