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Welfare cuts continue.
Finance Secretary Derek Mackay said that despite limited increases in Barnett consequentials the Chancellors’ spring budget plans confirm £2.9 billion of cuts to the Scottish budget over ten years.
Mr Mackay said it will hit Scottish families and provide absolutely no detail of how he plans to steady the economy in the wake of the UK Government’s plans for Brexit.
The Chancellor also failed to alleviate the welfare cuts that the UK Government is directing at some of the most vulnerable in our society or to lift the prospect of a further £3.5 billion of cuts to public spending in the years to come.
Mr Mackay said:
“The Chancellor has today confirmed a real terms cut to the Scottish budget of 9.2 per cent between 2010/11 and 2019/20. While I welcome the additional Barnett consequentials that were announced today, no one should think that this budget provides an end to austerity from the UK Government – in fact there is still a further £3.5 billion of cuts to come.
“On top of that the Chancellor continued with the UK Government’s damaging welfare cuts that will make many vulnerable and low income households worse off.
“The real elephant in the room in this budget was Brexit. There was no mention of the UK Government’s plans to protect and grow the UK economy as the Prime Minister gets ready to trigger Article 50. This is simply not acceptable. Brexit is a real threat to people across Scotland in so many ways. The Chancellor must tell us his plans.
Commenting on some of the proposals in the budget, Mr Mackay added:
“We have repeatedly called on the UK Government to take action to support the Oil and Gas sector. While welcome, today’s announcement on a ‘discussion paper’ is long overdue and is not the urgent action that the industry needs.
“The Scottish Government will continue to do everything it can to boost the economy, tackle inequality and provide high quality public services but today’s UK budget does little to support those aims.”