Covid-19 Fiscal Implications

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 16th June 2020.

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Photo of Kate Forbes Kate Forbes Scottish National Party

There are two answers to the member’s question. First, some members have alluded to the fact that we already have borrowing powers, but we have those powers for the wrong reasons—they are for cash management, and I do not need to manage cash; I need to respond to a pandemic. The point is that we need to be accurate on the reason for those borrowing powers.

My second point is on Barnett consequentials. We recognise the welcome investment, but the point remains that the figures are estimates and can be revised up or down. We are simply asking for guarantees. At an extraordinary time, we need extraordinary measures.