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Treasury Spending: Grants to Devolved Institutions

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 5:33 pm on 3rd July 2018.

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Photo of Kirsty Blackman Kirsty Blackman Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Economy), SNP Deputy Leader 5:33 pm, 3rd July 2018

I agree. What we should be doing in this debate, and what I will try to do in this debate, is to lay out what the real-terms cuts actually are. We cannot have constant fudge from the UK Government, whether on the Wales budget or on the Scotland budget. We need to be accurate about how much is being cut from these budgets.

Scotland’s fiscal resource budget has seen a cut of 9.1% over this period, and our total fiscal budget will be cut by 8.4% in real terms. The UK Government have been talking about the Barnett consequentials that are coming to Scotland, but the reality is that most of that money is financial transactions money. Financial transactions cannot be spent on normal day-to-day spending. They cannot be spent on resources for our NHS, for example, because they have to be paid back. This is not real money that the Scottish Government can spend.

We are also seeing a £230 million resource cut in 2018-19, but despite that, the SNP Government at Holyrood continue to protect public services and to invest in measures to unlock innovation and drive increased productivity. On policing, unlike the UK Government, we have not cut the numbers of police. At this point, I would like to congratulate the new Scottish Justice Minister, Humza Yousaf. It is possible that Donald Trump will visit Scotland. I am certainly not a big fan of Donald Trump coming to Scotland, but I am pleased that Humza Yousaf has managed to convince the UK Treasury—I thank the Minister for doing this—to provide an extra £5 million to cover the cost of rolling out the red carpet. I do not want Donald Trump to come here anyway, but he has had the hand of welcome extended to him by the Prime Minister, so it is completely reasonable that the UK Government should cover this cost.