Chancellor Urged To Prioritise Public Services Over Tax Cuts
20th November 2023
Deputy First Minister Shona Robison calls for Autumn Statement funding to support key missions.
The Chancellor's Autumn Statement must deliver more funding for public services, net zero and cost of living support instead of cutting taxes, Deputy First Minister Shona Robison has urged.
Ahead of the Scottish Budget next month, the Deputy First Minister called for the Chancellor to provide a funding settlement to support the Scottish Government's key missions of equality, opportunity and community.
Ms Robison, who is also Finance Secretary, is urging the Chancellor to:
increase the Scottish Government's capital budget in line with inflation to help deliver vital infrastructure
deliver additional funding across the UK to fund public services and fair public sector pay awards
commit to increasing working-age benefits in line with inflation next year
legislate for an essentials guarantee giving basic necessities to those who need them most
prioritise investment in net zero, including funding for offshore wind projects in Scotland
The Deputy First Minister said "The UK faces a combination of low growth and high interest rates. The Autumn Statement must learn the lessons from last year's ‘mini budget’ - it must not compound these problems with ill-timed tax breaks which would place even greater pressure on the public finances.
"The Scottish Government is using the levers available to us to support people through this difficult time. However, it is important that the UK Government uses its full range of reserved powers to address these challenges. With many families continuing to struggle with the cost of living, the Chancellor must not use this statement to cut benefits.
"The Autumn Statement provides an important opportunity for the UK Government to support us to deliver the investment and services that Scotland needs, to demonstrate its commitment to net zero, and to help people and businesses with the economic challenges they face."