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Appeal to Treasury

Forbes in three-way appeal for funding flexibility

Kate Forbes

Kate Forbes: ‘we need immediate help’

Scotland’s Finance Secretary will today join her counterparts from the other devolved administrations to demand more flexibility and financial support from Westminster to tackle the Covid-19 crisis.

Kate Forbes, along with the Welsh Finance Secretary Rebecca Evans and Northern Ireland’s Finance Minister Conor Murphy, will call on the UK Government to help with immediate needs.

All three will address their governing bodies to appeal for greater financial powers, including more borrowing in order to respond to local circumstances.

Their concern has grown after Chancellor Rishi Sunak cancelled his autumn budget and insisted that the job retention furlough scheme will end this month.

Ms Forbes will state in Holyrood that the delayed budget will have a knock-on effect on setting Scotland’s finances.

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She said: “We are taking this joint step to convey the depth of our concern about the cancellation of the UK Government’s autumn budget.

“The devolved administrations have done much to support businesses, communities and individuals through the pandemic, but the UK Government decides on the size of our budgets and holds most of the financial levers, so it is essential that they take further action.

“We urgently need more flexibility and funding to meet the immediate needs and clarity in order to plan for the coming year. Today we will use our collective voice to lay out these requirements.”

In June, Ms Forbes proposed an £80 billion proposal to help the UK recovery.

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