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Autumn Statement: Devolved Services

Volume 603: debated on Monday 14 December 2015

9. What assessment he has made of the effect of policies in the spending review and autumn statement 2015 on his Department's expenditure on policies and services which in Scotland are devolved to the Scottish Government. (902671)

As the hon. Gentleman will know, the services of this Department are devolved to Scotland, so there are Barnett consequentials of spending decisions that affect the Department. As a result of the spending review, the Scottish Government’s capital budget will increase by 14%.

The Chancellor confirmed in the autumn statement the extension of the right to buy to housing associations, thereby effectively privatising them. As we all know, the existing right to buy has decimated social housing stock throughout the United Kingdom. The Scottish Government recognised that, and abolished the right to buy. Given that the new discounts and the so-called one-for-one replacements are not being financed by additional Government funding, will the Minister explain what effect the Chancellor’s proposals will have on housing in Scotland?

The hon. Gentleman is right to draw attention to the policy intention to replace homes on a basis of at least one for one, which is greatly welcomed by Conservative Members. As I have said, the spending review will have a Barnett consequentials impact on the Scottish Government’s capital budget, amounting to £1.9 billion, which is in addition to the borrowing powers they already have. That will enable them to deliver on what they want to do for Scotland—just as we want to deliver on our objectives and manifesto priorities in England and Wales.