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United Kingdom Government Spending Pledges (Barnett Consequentials)

– in the Scottish Parliament on 8th January 2020.

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Photo of Maureen Watt Maureen Watt Scottish National Party

3. To ask the Scottish Government what analysis it has carried out of the UK Government’s spending pledges and the Barnett consequentials that might arise from those. (S5O-03961)

Photo of Derek Mackay Derek Mackay Scottish National Party

What the UK Government says and what it does are two completely different things. Until the UK budget is published, we cannot know with certainty what funding will be available for public services in Scotland arising from UK Government spending pledges. We have examined the pledges that the Conservative Party made during the election campaign, and I have written to the chancellor to point out that it is essential that he delivers the promised additional Barnett consequentials for Scotland.

Photo of Maureen Watt Maureen Watt Scottish National Party

Yesterday, we witnessed all parties bar one unite in the chamber against the utter lack of respect shown by the UK Tory Government for the people of Scotland; we also saw the contempt in which those people are held by the Scottish Tories, who sat here sniggering at their puppet masters’ actions. Does the cabinet secretary agree that it is no laughing matter? Will he outline what the consequences of Boris’s botched budget actions might be for the people of Scotland’s livelihoods and the services on which they rely?

Photo of Derek Mackay Derek Mackay Scottish National Party

I have made it clear that the local government sector has expressed alarm at the delay and at the proposed date for the UK Government budget. Indeed, there are reasons for all Scotland’s services to be concerned, because they are all in a precarious position if we do not have the necessary budget approval in time for the start of the financial year.

Whatever politics were played out by the UK Government yesterday, if we want devolution and this Parliament to succeed, all the parties in this chamber will need to co-operate like never before to ensure that, in these exceptional circumstances, we take forward a budget that delivers for our people, safeguards public services and makes responsible tax decisions to give this country the confidence and certainty that it so desperately wants.