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House of Commons Hansard
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06 December 2017
Volume 632
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2. What discussions he has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on the effect of the autumn Budget 2017 on the level of Scotland’s revenue budget. [902716]

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The recent Budget shows that we are delivering for Scotland, including £347 million in additional resource budget as part of £2 billion extra as a result of Barnett consequentials.

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Under the Secretary of State for Scotland’s watch, Scotland’s revenue budget has been cut by £2.6 billion, including a £200 million cut next year alone. Under this Secretary of State for Scotland, more than £200 million of common agricultural policy convergence funding has been stolen. He also voted against the VAT exemption for police and fire services. Why has the Secretary of State done nothing to prevent those Tory measures?

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The hon. Gentleman suggests that we have done nothing, but the day before the Budget, that £347 million of additional resource budget was not there. That was announced in the Budget statement, along with another £1.7 billion of additional capital to support the businesses and people of Scotland.

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I am sure that Members on both sides of the House appreciate the role that oil and gas play not just in the north-east economy, but in the UK economy. Does my right hon. Friend agree that the transferable tax history that was set out in the Budget is a desperately needed shot in the arm for the industry, and a step in the right direction to making Aberdeen a global hub for decommissioning? That shows that 13 Scottish Tory MPs get things done.

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My hon. Friend is entirely right. I know that the oil and gas sector has warmly welcomed the changes that we are making to provide additional tax relief through transferable tax history. Many in the sector believe that that measure will lead to tens of billions of additional investment during the lifetime of the North sea reserves.

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I associate myself with the Secretary of State’s kind remarks about the late Jimmy Hood, who was a fine champion of Labour values and of his community. The whole House offers condolences to his family and all those who knew him.

The Government claim that Scotland has received an additional £2 billion in the Budget, yet the Fraser of Allander Institute says that the revenue budget will be about £500 million less in real terms within the next two years. Who are the people of Scotland to believe: this redundant Secretary of State, or a world-renowned economic think-tank? Will the Financial Secretary address that question directly?

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The figures speak for themselves. As the hon. Gentleman should know—I am sure that he does—by 2020 the block grant to Scotland will be £31.1 billion before devolutionary adjustments, and that is a simple real-terms increase.