UK government claims budget provides £1bn extra funding for Scotland
Scotland will benefit from nearly £1 billion in additional funding for the Scottish Government, as well as £150 million for a Tay Cities Deal and a freeze in Spirits Duty, the Chancellor of the Exchequer Philiip Hammond claimed as he announced his Budget yesterday.
But while Conservatives said this year’s Budget was “a result of the UK government’s balanced approach to the country’s finances, keeping taxes low and debt falling while increasing the Scottish Government’s spending power”, the Chancellor’s Scottish counterpart Derek Mackay said the UK government had made a choice not to end austerity, and had “short-changed Scotland”.
Announcements made by Mr Hammond relating to Scotland included:
An extra £950 million for the Scottish Government, meaning its budget will have grown in real terms to £32 billion by 2020.
£150 million for a Tay Cities Deal to support growth and create new jobs.
A boost to the Scotch Whisky industry, which already accounts for 20 per cent of UK food and drink exports, as Spirits Duty is frozen for the second Budget in a row. This means the price of a typical bottle is 30p lower than if it had risen by inflation.
A UK-wide £10 million Fisheries Technology Fund to help transform the industry and make fishermen in Scotland world leaders in safe, sustainable and productive fishing.
Opening formal negotiations for a Moray Growth Deal and progressing talks for Ayrshire and Borderlands Growth Deals.
Continuing support for the oil and gas sector, through maintaining our globally competitive position and further strengthening Scotland’s role as a world leader in this area.
Appointing a dedicated manager from the British Business Bank in Scotland, for the first time, to help to reduce geographical imbalances in small businesses’ access to finance.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, said: “My Budget sends a clear message to the people of Scotland – your hard work is paying off.
“Thanks to the UK government’s careful stewardship of the economy, the public finances are in a much stronger position and national debt is falling.
“This means we have more money to invest in Scotland’s future – including a £950 million funding boost, freezing Spirits Duty to support the Scotch Whisky industry and £150 million for a Tay Cities Deal.”
Also responding to the UK budget, Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard slammed the UK government.
He said: “Theresa May promised the people that austerity would end, but this budget has delivered nothing of the sort.