Javid to loosen purse strings as Mackay laments lack of clarity
Spend, spend, spend: Sajid Javid goes ahead with review
Sajid Javid will press ahead with his spending review today in what will be interpreted as a platform for a Tory party manifesto ahead of a snap election.
Amid unprecedented political uncertainty that any of his announcements will be delivered, the Chancellor will promise more money for education, health and the police in England and is expected to signal the end of austerity.
However, the former City banker is expected to adopt a more cautious tone than Prime Minister Boris Johnson who promised the “most ambitious spending round for more than a decade”.
Mr Javid’s statement in parliament at about 1pm will go ahead despite MPs last night voting to take control of the legislature’s agenda during the day,
He has some scope to raise borrowing because Britain has cut its budget deficit from almost 10% of gross domestic product in 2010 to just over 1%.
Scottish Finance Secretary Derek Mackay said Mr Javid’s Spending Round will not provide the Scottish Government with clarity on the future of the Scottish Budget.
Derek Mackay: ‘we need guarantees’
Speaking ahead of the Chancellor’s statement, Mr Mackay said without the tax announcements and economic forecasts of a full UK Budget the Scottish Government will not have clarity on funding for 2020-21.
Mr Mackay also said that with a ‘no deal’ Brexit looking more likely, the Scottish Government urgently needs a guarantee on funding from the UK Government to prepare for the consequences.
Mr Mackay said: “Scottish public services have been constrained by a decade of UK austerity and this is now being compounded by the impact of a ‘no deal’ Brexit and the severe impact it threatens to have on our economy and jobs, as well as the loss of vital EU funding to Scotland.
“With a ‘no deal’ looking increasingly more likely, it is essential that the UK Government guarantees additional funding for Scotland to let us prepare as much as possible for the catastrophic consequences that this would bring to our economy, jobs and public services.
“The Chancellor must provide a cast-iron guarantee that all EU funding for Scotland will be replaced in full by the UK Government. This includes supporting our farmers by matching all existing support available through the Common Agricultural Policy and finally passing on the £160 million of convergence funding that has been withheld from Scotland.
“However the Spending Round will not give us the clarity we need about the Scottish Budget going forward. Without the tax announcements and economic forecasts of a full UK Budget, the Scottish Government will not have clarity on Scotland’s funding for 2020-21, meaning any announcements on funding for Scotland must be taken with a pinch of salt.
“Regardless of the UK Government’s delay and mismanagement, we are determined to provide as much certainty and stability as possible to Scotland’s public finances.”