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DFM: Victory on tax credits welcomed.
The Scottish Government will see a real terms reduction of almost 6 per cent in the funding for day to day public services over the next four years, Deputy First Minister John Swinney said today.
Speaking after the Comprehensive Spending Review was announced by the Chancellor, the DFM condemned the continued "austerity of choice" but welcomed the U-turn on tax credits as a victory for the 250,000 families in Scotland who would have been painfully impacted by the cuts.
Mr Swinney said:
"The Chancellor has continued with ideologically driven austerity of choice. Scotland will see almost 6 per cent of the day-to-day budget that pays for public service slashed as a result of this Chancellor's statement.
"The Scottish Government has consistently demonstrated that the UK's deficit and debt can be brought down without the need for huge public spending cuts.
"These cuts are damaging, needless and will hit the poorest hardest.
"What is welcome is the victory over tax credits. 250,000 families in Scotland can breathe a sigh of relief after the proposed cuts were scrapped by the UK Government.
"This U-turn demonstrates it was right to maintain pressure on the Chancellor to re-think this damaging proposition.
"We will continue to do everything within our power to protect the most vulnerable from the UK Government's austerity measures – austerity of choice, not necessity – but we want to use our powers and resources to lift people out of poverty, not just continually mitigate as best we can.
"That will be our focus as we draw up spending plans ahead of the Scottish Budget next month."
Scotland's Resource Departmental Expenditure Limit (rDEL) will fall by 5.7 per cent in real terms between 2015-16 and 2019-20 as a result of the Comprehensive Spending Review.