The budget: here’s what the UK is controversially funding Scotland
As part of the devolution settlement Scotland receives a block grant each year and Holyrood ministers decide how to spend it on devolved matters.
Decentralized administrations will receive the ‘largest block grants’ since 1998, according to the Chancellor, with Scottish government funding increasing each year, increasing on average by £ 4.6 billion.
On top of that, in today’s budget announcement Sunak appeared to bypass the Scottish Parliament with accompanying documents pledging direct money for places and issues that would generally be under Holyrood’s control. .
Chancellor Sunak has announced that there will be £ 172million in total for eight projects under the Leveling Up Fund.
-The development of Inverness Castle
-A new market in downtown Aberdeen
-A direct route between Glasgow and the three towns of North Ayrshire
-Transform the Pollok stables and sawmill in Glasgow into a net zero heritage center
– Redevelopment of the Granton seafront
-Improvement of Westfield roundabout, Falkirk
-Renovation of the Artizan shopping center in West Dunbartonshire
-Connect the “Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District” to Paisley, Renfew and Inchinnan
The documents also detail a £ 1.07 billion community property fund for five projects in Whithorn, Inverie, New Galloway, Kinloch Rannoch and Callendar.
Other announcements included £ 1.9bn for farmers and land managers in Scotland, £ 42m for fishing, the expansion of the Edinburgh shopping and investment center, a fund of investment of £ 150million and up to £ 3million to ‘boost Glasgow’s cultural offering’.
Ahead of today’s budget, Finance Secretary Kate Forbes wrote to the Chancellor urging him to ensure he transferred support before approving direct funding or moving over. Holyrood.
It was suspected that Westminster would spend in decentralized areas after the adoption of the Home Market Bill. The controversial legislation allows the UK government to fund post-Brexit issues, replacing funding that could have come from the EU.
“As well as being a radical departure from the existing devolution regulation, it introduces considerable additional uncertainty for future devolved funding and fundamentally alters the devolution landscape,” Forbes warned.
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“I ask for assurance that the credentials will not be used without the prior consent of decentralized governments, and for clarification on how decisions regarding the use of the financial assistance powers of the IMA will be made and under what circumstances. .
“Without this, it is difficult to see how the principles of consent, transparency, stability and predictability set out in the Funding Policy Statement can be met. In addition, it risks poor value for money due to inconsistent policy and inconsistent spending decisions. ”
This afternoon, Forbes released a full budget statement, expressing that she was “disappointed but not surprised.”
The Finance Secretary said the centralized approach to upgrading means “ignoring the views of the governments of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland”.
She continued: “This means that the money Scotland would have previously received under the EU’s seven-year Structural Fund programs to be spent according to its own needs will now be distributed annually in accordance with a program. from the UK government This approach potentially leaves Scotland worse off, raises value for money issues and undermines decentralization. ”
Giving his take on the announcements, SNP Westminster leader in Blackford said: “No amount of smoke and mirrors can mask the fact that the UK budget has hurt Scotland and left millions in families worse off next year because of the Tories, tax cuts, tax hikes and the soaring cost of Brexit.
“Under the Tories, the UK has the worst levels of poverty and inequality in North West Europe and the highest levels of working poverty in this century. Yet this budget did nothing to tackle the Conservative cost-of-living crisis. piecemeal measures have won It doesn’t even compensate for conservative universal credit cuts, national insurance hikes or rising inflation, without talk about increasing income.
“The Conservative government has bypassed Scotland by several billion pounds. He broke his promise to invest in Scottish carbon capture projects, failed to match the Scottish government’s £ 500million Just Transition Fund, failed to fully replace funding from the EU for Scottish local authorities, and has failed to compensate Scotland for the damage caused by Brexit.
“It is beyond belief that the Tories expect us to be grateful even as they impoverish families and rob Scotland of investment.”