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Fiscal Settlement

Volume 688: debated on Wednesday 3 February 2021

What recent discussions he has had with the Welsh Government on the adequacy of the fiscal settlement. (911549)

We have provided £16.8 billion to the devolved Administrations to fight coronavirus, including £5.2 billion to the Welsh Government and £8.6 billion to the Scottish Government. We have also secured vaccines for all four nations, demonstrating the importance of the Union and how we are stronger together.

The fiscal settlement of this disunited kingdom means that the Treasury continues to impose unfair, unreasonable and inexplicable limits on the devolved nations’ borrowing powers. That has meant that at every step throughout the covid crisis, the devolved nations have had to wait for the Treasury to announce financial support before they could do the same. The next challenge is climate action, and with evidence from the Dasgupta review and the Committee on Climate Change showing how far we still have to go, will the Government now ensure that the devolved nations are fully equipped to meet this challenge by devolving borrowing powers?

I would have thought that the Scottish people, with their reputation for understanding the importance of money, would be quite pleased that the UK Government have provided £8.2 billion of extra funding for the Scottish Parliament, rather than expecting it to borrow money and pay it back at some point. I suggest that the hon. Gentleman might like to familiarise himself with the report from the London School of Economics this morning, which suggested that independence for Scotland would end up costing every Scottish taxpayer thousands of pounds a year, in addition to the £8 billion that they would have lost as a result, as the UK Government would not have provided that extra money to the Scottish Parliament.