Scottish Government Draft Spending and Tax Plans 2019-20

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 12th December 2018.

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Photo of Derek Mackay Derek Mackay Scottish National Party

In the budget, I have outlined the support that is available through our new social security system, and I have said that we will be spending more than was allocated to us by the UK Government for food and other payments, including the best start grant. We are also supporting housing investment and other welfare measures.

It is important to recognise that a range of partners have roles in supporting people who are in times of hardship. That is why I have tried to protect public services and have made a different choice from the Conservatives, whose choice is, of course, tax cuts.

The package of measures that we are undertaking will help us to mitigate poverty as far as we can, but it would be better if we had all the powers for the economy and welfare in Scotland. The damning report from the United Nations about the pernicious welfare reforms of the Conservatives and the impact that they are having should cause us to reflect on where power lies and how we use the resources that we have. However, there are in the budget a range of measures to support families who are in need throughout the year.