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Scottish Budget

Fraser says Westminster support removes need for tax hikes

Murdo Fraser

Murdo Fraser: will set out Tory demands (pic: Terry Murden)

Scottish Conservatives will today say extra funding from Westminster should remove any need for further tax rises in Thursday’s Budget.

Tory finance spokesman Murdo Fraser will point out that Westminster has boosted the Scottish kitty by 2.1%.

Today he will demand no further tax rises, measures to grow the economy, and an increase in council funding as conditions for supporting Finance Secretary Derek Mackay’s budget.

Mr Mackay needs the support of at least one other party for his plans to be approved.

Mr Fraser said: “As a result of increased spending in Westminster, the SNP government will now have considerable additional sums to spend,” he said.

“That means there is no justification for additional tax increases or further cuts to public spending.

“We believe the two priorities for this budget should be measures to grow the Scottish economy, which lags behind the rest of the UK, and support for our vital public services.

He claims the Tories demands, including measures to improve drug rehabilitation and homelessness, represent a “credible and affordable package which can be delivered within the overall financial envelope available to the Scottish Government.”

He added: “I hope that they will sit down and work with us in the coming weeks to deliver a budget which prioritises growing our economy, expanding out tax revenues, and supporting our vital public services.”

However, the SNP insists there is no extra money from Westminster and that Scotland’s annual budget has fallen by £2 billion in real terms since 2010.



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