Scotland being ‘short changed’ over government funding

Ahead of next week’s Spring Statement, the Chancellor is being urged to address claims Scotland is being ‘short changed’ as a result of additional funding being allocated to Northern Ireland

Scottish finance secretary Derek Mackay has argued there is now an imbalance in central government funding, in a letter sent to Philip Hammond.

It follows the announcement that Northern Ireland has received an additional £140m for its 2019-2020 Budget on top of the £1bn Northern Ireland has already been allocated by the UK government.

Mackay wants the Chancellor to ensure that the spring statement provides a proportionate amount of additional finance and flexibility to Scotland, Wales and the rest of the UK.

Mackay said: ‘This announcement means that Scotland is once again losing out on vital funding and being short changed.  The Chancellor must use his spring statement to address this imbalance which is penalising people across Scotland.

‘Continuing UK government austerity has reduced the Scottish resource block grant by almost £2bn in real terms over the last decade. The normal application of the Barnett formula to provide this funding would have resulted in an additional £400m being allocated to Scotland and additional flexibility over how we spend our resources.

‘The decision in 2017 to allocate £1bn exclusively to Northern Ireland without consequentials to the other devolved administrations is yet to be resolved, and it is unacceptable for the UK Government to continue to provide additional funding for devolved services in Northern Ireland without applying the Barnett formula.’

Report by Pat Sweet

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