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Treasury Spending: Grants to Devolved Institutions

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 6:30 pm on 3rd July 2018.

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Photo of Patrick Grady Patrick Grady SNP Chief Whip 6:30 pm, 3rd July 2018

I was watching the parliamentary private secretary passing notes around the back of the Chamber earlier, so I will take no lessons on internal group communications from the hon. Gentleman.

I have spoken in estimates day debates before and been called out of order for daring to actually discuss the estimates, so it is very helpful indeed to be able to have this discussion on Government spending. The reason that we have these debates is that the SNP questioned the estimates process in the context of the English votes for English laws process. We were told by the then Leader of the House, who is now the Transport Secretary, that if we wanted to have a say and a vote on spending as it affected Scotland, the estimates process was the way to do so. As we have been so ably encouraged by Conservative Members to take that opportunity this evening, I am sure that they will look forward to that happening at 7 o’clock and in the time that follows.

In summing up, it would be only fair to address the points that have been raised by Conservative Members. Kirstene Hair was interested in health and in the Barnett consequentials that will allegedly come as a result of the £20 billion increase in expenditure for the health service. It is great to know that they are coming, and the Scottish Government have consistently said in successive manifestos that they will pass on all the Barnett consequentials that they receive for health. The question is: where is the funding coming from? It was supposed to be coming from a Brexit dividend, but it now appears that it will come from increased taxation or perhaps from cuts to other Departments. However, if other Departments are cut to fund health spending, there will be cuts to the Barnett consequentials as well.