Scottish Govt. budget ‘to increase by £800m’

The UK Government said its decision to focus on infrastructure spending means the Scottish Government’s budget will increase by more than £800 million through to 2020-21, “giving it even greater spending power to boost productivity and promote growth in Scotland.”

The £800 million boost was outlined in chancellor Philip Hammond’s Autumn Statement.

The UK Government said that “how the increase in capital budget is spent in Scotland is up to the Scottish Government, which has the opportunity to take its own investment decisions as well as using its own tax, borrowing and welfare powers.”

It said the Autumn Statement also included direct action that will benefit Scotland — such as the chancellor’s decision to increase investment in research and development by £2 billion a year by 2020-2, “which should benefit Scotland’s thriving universities and research and innovation centres.”

It said Scotland’s cities would also continue to benefit from further commitments from the UK Government, “with funding confirmed for city deals in Aberdeen and Inverness, negotiations for a city deal with Edinburgh ongoing and the UK Government prepared to consider proposals from Tay Cities (Perth and Dundee).”

The Autumn Statement unveiled for the first time that the UK Government will also open negotiations with Stirling.

Hammond said: “The decisions I have announced today mean that Scotland will receive very significant additions of £800 million to its capital budget.

“It is also great news that I can also confirm wider investments for Scotland including the opening of city deal negotiations with Stirling and announcing that we are open to doing so with the Tay Cities …

“This is an Autumn Statement which delivers for Scotland.”

The UK Government’s Secretary of State for Scotland, David Mundell said: “Today’s Autumn Statement will build an economy that works for everyone in Scotland and the rest of the UK …

“Most significantly for Scotland is the £800 million of extra capital funding.

“This is as a result of the chancellor’s decision to invest in infrastructure, but it is for the Scottish Government to step up now.

“If it is used properly by the Scottish Government, this will make a real difference to productivity, jobs and growth in Scotland.

“The UK government’s decisions today mean a secure economy based on the broad shoulders of the UK, more funding and more powers for Scotland.”

The Scottish Government’s Finance Secretary Derek Mackay said the Chancellor’s plans “laid bare the real cost of leaving Europe.”

He said the Autumn Statement failed to end damaging austerity, did not go far enough to get the economy on track and provided no additional funding for our public services.

Mackay said: “The truth about Brexit — and the UK’s financial and economic future — was laid bare by the chancellor today.

“The real cost of Brexit has now been revealed — and it is a cost which will be paid through lower growth, lower tax revenues, higher borrowing, higher debt and higher inflation.

“That is the future the Autumn Statement revealed the UK faces as a result of leaving the European Union.

“Above all, this was a massive missed opportunity to end austerity.

“The chancellor has failed to ease the punitive cuts that are hitting so many Scottish families.

“Instead he has continued the damaging austerity that is slashing the budget for public services, hammering family finances and failing to revive the economy.

“Under these plans, Scotland will see a real terms cut to the day-to-day budget that pays for public services.

“By 2019/20 it is expected to be almost 9% lower over the decade, reducing the scope we have to mitigate against Westminster austerity and invest in growing our economy.

“Even on the much heralded investment in infrastructure, all we have seen is the chancellor moderating cuts already imposed on Scotland.

“As a result, Scotland’s capital budget will still be around 8% lower in real terms across this decade.”