This year, the Government have put in place an unprecedented package of support to protect incomes and jobs right across the UK. Analysis published earlier this year shows that our interventions significantly protected people’s incomes, with the least well-off in society supported the most.
How are those who have been excluded from support so far seeing their household incomes protected when they are getting no support from this Government at all? What plans does the Minister have to meet members of the ExcludedUK group to make sure that those who have had no support at all can actually survive Christmas?
As my right hon. Friend the Chancellor set out a moment ago, the Financial Secretary to the Treasury will be meeting that group, but we have also targeted the support, including on those who are majority self-employed. Through that targeting, we have been able to confirm an additional £2.4 billion of support for the Scottish Government.
In his spending review statement last week, the Chancellor failed even to mention Brexit, but the Office for Budget Responsibility was not quite so shy; indeed, it painted a particularly bleak picture. So can the Minister clarify this: does he accept the OBR’s findings, and if so, does he therefore agree that the Scotland’s economic future will be detrimentally impacted by any Brexit on the watch of this Tory Government?
What economic analysis has always shown is that Scotland’s trade with the rest of the United Kingdom is much more important than its trade with Europe. However, Government Members have always been clear that we seek a deal. The asks that the negotiating team have put forward are extremely reasonable, and Lord Frost and the team continue to work to that effect.