Finance Secretary calls on UK Government to change course on austerity, immigration and Brexit.
Finance Secretary Derek Mackay has proposed alternative UK fiscal plans which would provide valuable additional resources for Scotland’s public finances to support key commitments and public services while keeping the public finances on a sustainable path.
The Medium Term Financial Strategy, published today, explains the Fiscal Framework and funding arrangements that the Scottish Government operates within; outlines the Scottish Government’s approach to financial management and fiscal rules; sets out a range of possible funding scenarios for the Scottish Budget over the next five years; and details key policy priorities and approach to supporting Scotland’s economy.
The strategy also challenges the UK Government choices on austerity, Brexit and immigration policy and exposes the damaging impact of UK Government decisions on the Scottish economy and public finances.
Mr Mackay said:
“The Medium Term Financial Strategy recognises the challenges and opportunities ahead. But let me be clear, the Scottish Government will always be ambitious for Scotland, even with the significant challenges we face.
“This strategy clearly lays out the consequences of UK choices on Scotland's public finances, including UK imposed decisions on austerity, immigration policies that don’t suit Scotland, and taking us out of the Single Market through Brexit.
“We will always deliver responsible government and balance the books, and I challenge the Chancellor to change course. I have therefore set out fiscal alternatives that would mean a fairer deal for Scotland with substantial investment to support our public services and stimulate our economy.
“The nature of the Scottish Budget has changed significantly since the Scottish Parliament was reconvened almost 20 years ago. Publishing a Medium Term Financial Strategy is a further step in the evolution of its process and accountability.
“Central to our strategy is the prudent, responsible and balanced way we have managed, and will continue to manage Scotland’s finances. We will continue to provide value to taxpayers and certainty for our vital public services during the turbulent and uncertain times ahead.
“We want to grow the economy, invest in public services and give the taxpayers of Scotland the best deal anywhere in the UK. We have set out our key social and economic policies, and despite the challenges ahead of us, we can be trusted to keep on delivering for Scotland.”