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Scottish Economy: Support

Volume 705: debated on Wednesday 15 December 2021

The Budget and the spending review provide the largest annual block grant to the devolved Administration in Scotland since the Scotland Act 1998. Throughout the pandemic we have provided significant support, including through our furlough and self-employment schemes and additional support to businesses, on top of an extra £14.5 billion for the Scottish Government. We are also investing in new local infrastructure and regeneration projects through the levelling-up fund and community ownership fund, alongside the existing £1.5 billion investment in Scottish city and growth deals.

The Scottish Budget last week should have marked the start of an ambitious recovery plan for Scotland, but instead it is a missed opportunity that will not deliver the recovery Scotland needs. Similarly, the UK Government’s Budget offered tax cuts for bankers on business class flights but nowhere near enough for hard-working families across Scotland and the rest of the UK. Does the Secretary of State accept that both the Scottish and UK Governments must go further so we can get the economy firing on all cylinders?

I accept that both Governments need to work together—the hon. Gentleman is absolutely right about that—but the UK Government are doing their bit, with a block grant of £41.3 billion, £4.6 billion higher than last year and the highest since devolution began; £14.5 billion of covid funding since the pandemic began; a furlough scheme supporting over 900,000 jobs in Scotland, and grants and loans to businesses totalling over £4 billion. The UK Government are doing exactly what they need to do to support the Scottish economy.