I thank the cabinet secretary for prior sight of her statement. The truth is that, yesterday, Rishi Sunak announced an ambitious plan for the whole of the UK, incentivising employment with a job retention bonus scheme and cutting tax for hard-pressed sectors such as hospitality. Those measures will directly benefit Scottish workers and businesses. Far from bypassing devolution, that is devolution working, with the UK Government continuing to inject unprecedented funds directly into the Scottish economy.
It is, of course, still not enough for the Scottish National Party Government—even though yesterday’s announcement was warmly welcomed by the Federation of Small Businesses, Scottish Chambers of Commerce and the Scottish Tourism Alliance, to name but a few.
Rishi Sunak’s cut to stamp duty plainly does not apply to Scotland. Although the cabinet secretary just announced a tax break for LBTT, taking the threshold up to £250,000, there remains a significant disparity between Scotland and the rest of the UK. Will the cabinet secretary explain why she is not committing to a fully equivalent cut for LBTT and why the change cannot be made immediately, given that there will now be a massive incentive to delay, thus causing disruption to the market in that bracket?