THE Scottish Government will receive additional spending of £213 million in Barnett consequentials because of George Osborne’s Autumn Statement, the Scotland Office has claimed.
Spending on areas like education and health which Westminster governs on an England-only basis results in a cash injection for Scotland under the Barnett Formula – the funding mechanism which determines Scotland’s block grant.
The total extra spending came to £238 million when non-Barnett cash earmarked for Glasgow under the UK Government’s City Deal initiative and cash to refurbish the Glasgow School of Art was taken into account.
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According to the Scotland Office, the £213 billion takes the total additional spending power granted to the Scottish Government since 2010 to over £2.3 billion.
In a statement the Scotland Office said there had been an increase of 249,400 private sector employment, that translates to 171 more people in private sector employment in Scotland per day.
The Secretary of State for Scotland Alistair Carmichael said: “This Autumn Statement sets out the next steps in the UK Government’s long term economic plan to secure a sustained recovery and a more resilient economy. By backing businesses, helping more people into work and supporting families in communities across the country Scotland is benefitting from the action we are taking to help our economy grow.
“These measures will give the Scottish Government an extra £213 million of spending, taking the total of additional spending power to over £2.3 billion since we came to office. This means they can crack on and spend more money on funding for the NHS, more childcare places or more funding for schools or colleges.
“Scotland chose to retain a shared currency, pensions, single market and the economic stability and security that comes from being part of the UK. With more funding provided to the Scottish Government today and more powers and great responsibility for the Scottish Parliament on the way, Scotland is strengthened by today’s Autumn Statement.”
But the SNP’s Treasury spokesman Stewart Hosie said Barnett consequentials had been offset by UK Government cuts.
“Today’s statement was merely a continuation of a failed austerity programme from an austerity Government which has failed to deliver the growth the economy needs and which has set out to balance the books on the back of the poor,” Mr Hosie said.
“Any Barnett consequentials must be set against the scale of cuts Scotland has faced over the last 4 years. Remember what George Osborne promised when the Tories came to power.
“He has failed to meet even one of the targets he set for himself. Tory policy has strangled the recovery and with £75 billion of cuts to come we are on track for a decade of austerity. Austerity has failed.”
Mr Hosie added: “That is why we must have full economic decision making power in Scotland to deliver prosperity with a purpose – to grow the economy and deliver real social justice.”
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