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Total Block Grant

Volume 508: debated on Wednesday 7 April 2010

6. What discussions he has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on the adequacy of the total block grant to the Scottish Executive for 2010-11. (325091)

I have regular discussions with the Chancellor on a range of issues. The allocated Scottish Government budget for 2010-11 is the highest ever—more than double that available to Donald Dewar in the first year of devolution.

I thank the Secretary of State for the clarity of his response. Can he confirm that the UK Government are still offering a package of financial support to the Scottish Government in relation to the Forth crossing?

Throughout my time as Secretary of State, I have tried to take a reasonable approach to the big issues facing Scotland. Of course, that has often not been responded to by the Scottish National party, but in an attempt to be reasonable, and trying to set aside party political divisions on those big issues, the UK Government offered an unparalleled and unprecedented flexibility package to help the Scottish Government build a Forth road bridge. Unfortunately, they rebuffed it; they are stuck in an old ideology, which means that, as we speak, the bridge is no closer.

The Scottish Secretary has done nothing to stop the real-terms cuts to the Scottish budget this year, part of a package of cuts that will be deeper and tougher than Margaret Thatcher’s. Is he proud of his Thatcherite legacy and what will he say to the thousands of Scottish public sector workers who will lose their jobs as a result of British Labour party cuts?

I thought the hon. Gentleman was getting up to thank the Labour Government for the tax credits on innovation in the games industry in Dundee, but he is silent. He cannot bring himself to support his constituents and his city.

I am proud of what we have achieved over the past 12 years, and I thank the people of Scotland, because together we have made Scotland a fairer, more confident place. The last thing we need is a vote for the SNP, to bring in the Tory party by the back door.