Saturday, 21 December 2019 06:40

INDEPENDENCE WOULD HAVE MEANT £3.3BN MORE IN PUBLIC SPENDING THIS YEAR

An independent Scotland would have spent an extra £3.3 billion this year by following the SNP’s  spending plans.
 
Under the Tories, the Scottish Government has seen a real-terms cut in our budget – with the budget  worth £1.5 billion less in real terms this year than at the beginning of the decade.
 
The SNP’s proposed fiscal rule for an independent Scotland would see real terms rises in public  spending each year, while reducing the deficit.
 
Had this rule been applied over the past decade of Tory austerity, instead of the £1.5 billion real  terms cuts to our block grant for day to day spending, those cuts would have been reversed entirely.  Spending would be higher this year by £3.3 billion.
 
In 2018/19 public spending in Scotland increased by 2.5%, but revenues increased by 4.9% - this  resulted in the deficit falling by 1.1%.
 
The latest GERS figures show that Scotland is already ahead of the trajectory set out by the  Sustainable Growth Commission on the reduction of notional deficit. The Sustainable Growth  Commission modelled a deficit of 7.1% in 2021/22, but in the most recent GERS in 18/19 the deficit  is 7%.
 
Commenting, Ian Blackford said:
 
“Independence will put Scotland’s future in Scotland’s hands – not Boris Johnson’s.
 
“After a decade of Tory austerity, Scotland faces yet another five years or more of Tory rule we  never voted for.
 
“But there is a better way. The SNP’s plan for an independent Scotland would see responsible  management of our public finances, but would reject the austerity approach followed by the Tories.
 
“If we’d followed that approach since 2010, Scotland would have seen an extra £3.3billion of  spending on public services this year.
 
“At the end of a decade of disastrous Tory austerity, which has hit growth and put huge pressure on  public services across the UK, the Tories should finally apologise.
 
“Scotland is more than rich enough to be independent – and by taking decisions for ourselves, we  can build a better country.”
 
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