Scotland being ‘short changed’

Chancellor urged to address the imbalance.

Scotland is being ‘short changed’ as a result of additional funding being allocated to Northern Ireland, says Finance Secretary Derek Mackay in a letter to the Chancellor of the Exchequer.

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

Mr Mackay has written to the Chancellor urging that the spring statement provides a proportionate amount of additional finance and flexibility to Scotland, Wales and the rest of the UK.

Mr 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.

“While I do not begrudge Northern Ireland the exemption from austerity, Northern Ireland is not alone in facing fiscal challenges.

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

“The decision in 2017 to allocate £1 billion 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.”

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