Chancellor of the Exchequer’s Economic Update

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 9th July 2020.

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Photo of Kate Forbes Kate Forbes Scottish National Party

I put on record that I will do whatever it takes. I have said that we will use all of the resources and fiscal levers that are at our disposal to protect jobs and reboot the economy. The point that I am making is that, if the Scottish Tories stand up and make demands, they must tell us where the funding will come from or give us the powers to do it ourselves.

With regard to non-domestic rates, that is an obvious example of another request that has not come with consequential funding attached. Therefore, although I am sympathetic to the argument, I would like to know what part of the budget that money should come from, because we cannot borrow revenue in order to extend those grants, and I cannot recycle money from one part of my budget to the other, because of arcane fiscal rules.

That is the problem here. For all the demands that the Scottish Tories make, they must give us the powers or the funding to do what they ask.